South Korea, China to seek better cooperation on disarming North KoreaUpdated: 2014-03-24 09:18:49 (KST)
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President Park Geun-hye discussed better cooperation on curbing North Korea's nuclear program and negotiations for a Seoul-Beijing free trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday.
The two leaders met ahead of this year's Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.
For details, let's now connect live to our presidential office correspondent Choi You-sun who's traveling with the president.
As widely expected North Korea topped the agenda on Sunday.
President Park stressed Pyongyang cannot achieve economic development while continuing with its nuclear weapons program.
She then called for Seoul's stronger cooperation Beijing and Washington to secure Pyongyang's commitment to give up its nuclear activities, as a precondition to any form of talks.
To that end, President Xi said China opposes North Korea as a nuclear weapons state, and that Beijing is, in its own way, persuading its ally to fulfill its previous international denuclearization pledges.
The Chinese leader then endorsed President Park's trust-building initiatives on the Korean peninsula and policies for a peaceful reunification.
On the trade front, the Korean president said the two sides should try to finalize negotiations for a Korea-China FTA within the year, to which her Chinese counterpart agreed.
Before the bilateral summit President Park held an interview with a Dutch broadcaster and touched upon a sensitive topic. Tell us more about this.
Speaking to Dutch broadcaster NOS in Seoul last Wednesday, President Park suggested the international community launch a pilot project that aims to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
The South Korean president added, a nuclear-free peninsula can be achieved if disarming North Korea is considered a starting point towards realizing a world without nuclear weapons.
She then urged North Korea's traditional allies China and Russia to send a stronger message to the North that it won't have a future unless it gives up its nuclear arms.
The president also expressed concerns about the possibility of Pyongyang's nuclear materials ending up in the hands of nuclear terrorists, and ultimately prompting regional neighbors to compete in nuclear armament.
The South Korean leader said a possible fire at the North's Yongbyon nuclear complex could lead to a bigger catastrophe to that of Chernobyl.
Tomorrow, Monday here in The Hague, President Park will seek ways to boost bilateral ties with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and give an opening speech at the Nuclear Security Summit.
Thank-you for that. That was our presidential office correspondent Choi You-sun reporting from The Hague on President's Park's summit with her Chinese counterpart and her vision of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
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