With the threat of a fourth North Korean nuclear test lingering, President Park Geun-hye urged the leadership in Pyongyang to give up its nuclear development program.
"If the North Korean regime truly wants economic development and to improve its people's livelihoods, it must stop its nuclear development and threats."
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At a ceremony to remember and thank Korean War veterans and patriots, President Park said she hopes the North will redirect its focus from nuclear development to reviving its economy through international aid and bringing its people out of destitution.
The South Korean president then said peace and unification on the Korean peninsula would bring happiness and prosperity to all Korean people.
President Park also addressed social irregularities and corruption that have been blamed for the recent ferry disaster in the South.
"Without eliminating deep-rooted social evils, we will not be able to ensure people's safety, revitalize the economy or bring public happiness."
The president reiterated her determination to carry out sweeping reforms in the public sector and to revamp the national safety management system.
President Park then pledged to push forward with her three-year economic innovation plan, to re-ignite the recovery and support the Korean economy to take another leap forward.
Marking the significance of Memorial Day, the president also promised to make sure all of the Korean War veterans will get the recognition and respect they deserve by being conferred a national merit.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.