Seoul, Jan 22 (IANS) South Korea on Friday vowed to respond to North Korea’s nuclear programme sternly in 2016 after Pyongyang’s nuclear test earlier this month.
President Park Geun-hye was briefed by foreign, defence and unification ministers about their respective policy directions in 2016, which focused on resolving Pyongyang’s nuclear issue through stronger sanctions and pressure rather than dialogue and consultations, Xinhua reported.
It was a sharp turn from last year’s policy reports to Park, which were centred on ending the era of the divided Korean peninsula and preparing for a new era of a reunified Korea.
The turn into a tougher stance came as Pyongyang claimed on January 6 that it had tested its first hydrogen bomb.
It marked the fourth nuclear test in North Korea and the second since the country’s top leader Kim Jong Un took power in 2011.
The South Korean foreign ministry submitted its plan to Park that will place its top priority on resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue by diplomatically pressuring Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons programme.
Seoul will pursue the strongest ever resolution at the UN Security Council, while increasing the trilateral dialogue channels with Washington, Beijing and Tokyo.
The country will also call on China and Russia to play constructive roles in resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.