President Park calls on related ministries to fully prepare for any contingenciesUpdated: 2013-12-17 (KST)
The recent execution of Jang Song-thaek, who was once regarded as the second-most powerful figure in North Korea, startled the world, not to mention South Korea.
As a follow-up to an emergency security policy meeting on Friday, the day Jang's execution was announced by Pyongyang's state-run media, President Park held a meeting Monday afternoon with her foreign affairs and security-related ministers and senior secretaries.
Senior presidential secretary for public relations Lee Jung-hyun told reporters that President Park ordered the establishment of a National Security Council secretariat, that would support the management of the NSC and the function of the national security office, to better respond to the rapidly changing situation on the Korean peninsula and in neighboring nations.
The NSC secretariat played a role as the control tower of security-related issues during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, but was abolished during the Lee Myung-bak administration.
She also asked her top government officials to fully prepare for any contingencies and provide assurance to the public so they can continue on with their daily routines without worry.
President Park urged related ministries to keep a close eye on the situation unfolding in the North, and maintain a strong security posture.
In particular, she urged the military to closely cooperate with U.S. forces and share information with neighboring nations and the international community.
Earlier in the day, during a meeting with her senior secretaries, President Park warned of a possible provocation.
"Looking at the recent series of developments in North Korea, it is difficult to predict which direction North Korea will go. We can not rule out the possibility of an unexpected situation, such as a reckless provocation."
"The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae and other public offices are currently on emergency stand-by, with President Park calling for nationwide efforts to prepare for any possibilities, considering, what she called, the gravity and unpredictability of the status quo.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News."
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