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North Korea called on to disarm

Aug. 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM

SEOUL, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The North Korean government is called on to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions immediately, the South Korean president said Wednesday.

North Korea in February conducted an underground nuclear test, its third since 2006. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated in the wake of the test, prompting the closure of the border Kaesong industrial complex and a general deterioration in bilateral affairs.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Wednesday she was frustrated with Pyongyang's decision to pursue nuclear weapons despite widespread international condemnation.

North Korea is called on to "put down nuclear weapons from its hands," she was quoted by China's official Xinhua News Agency as saying.

Park met in June with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing to review the security situation.

Xi said he was eager to bring North Korea back to multilateral nuclear negotiations with South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. Nuclear negotiations started in 2003 but have been suspended since 2008.

Park said North Korea could bolster international confidence by building trust with its regional counterparts.

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