Pres. Park asks for China's support to persuade N. Korea abandon its nuclear program
President Park Geun-hye has asked China to persuade North Korea to make the right decision and give up its nuclear ambitions.
During a bilateral summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the official opening of the APEC summit on Monday, President Park stressed that Pyongyang should not put everything it has into nuclear development, when so many North Koreans are suffering from chronic malnutrition.
"I ask China to do its best in persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program and focus on economic development."
She also expressed regret over North Korea's sudden postponement of a plan to reunite families separated by the Korean War, and emphasized the importance of close cooperation between Seoul and Beijing.
In the third bilateral summit between Presidents Park and Xi, the Chinese leader took a stronger stance on the North Korean nuclear issue.
President Xi reportedly said that China opposes North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons outright and will take a firm stand against future nuclear tests.
A high-ranking Korean government official told reporters that the Chinese president also pledged to abide by UN Security Council resolutions against Pyongyang.
President Park had earlier expressed appreciation to Beijing for announcing last month that it was banning a long list of equipment and chemical substances from export to North Korea.
During her bilateral summit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the two sides agreed to work towards signing a Korea-Canada Free Trade Agreement by the end of this year.
She also held separate talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and discussed way to expand their economic cooperation.
"Later in the day, in her keynote speech at the first session of the APEC summit, President Park put an emphasis on the need to push ahead with trade liberalization within the Asia-Pacific region while staying away from trade protectionism, even during hard times, to revitalize the world economy.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News, Bali."
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