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World leaders focus on North Korea in D.C. nuclear security summit

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said pressure is necessary to deter Pyongyang.

By
Elizabeth Shim
U.S. President Barack Obama attends a trilateral meeting with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Pool Photo by Dennis Brack/UPI
U.S. President Barack Obama attends a trilateral meeting with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Pool Photo by Dennis Brack/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- South Korea's president promised to step up pressure on North Korea if that's what it takes to curb Kim Jong Un's nuclear program.

President Park Geun-hye, who is in Washington, D.C., for a biennial nuclear security summit, said in an interview with Bloomberg North Korea is headed down a dangerous path.

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"North Korea would self-destruct if it continues to test nuclear weapons," she said.

South Korea has implemented several measures since the North announced its fourth "successful" nuclear test and subsequently launched a satellite for "peaceful" purposes.

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The South Korean president said the restrictions would continue. As long as North Korea continues its provocations, sanctions rather than talks are the "only way to ultimately achieve genuine peace by inducing changes in the North," Park said.

Seoul government officials have also said the North is preparing to conduct a fifth nuclear test.

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Park and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and was expected to hold a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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The primary focus of the trilateral meeting held Thursday was how to deter and defend against North Korean aggression, the State Department said.

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China has also played a key role in passing the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2270, which targets entities and individuals in North Korea responsible for nuclear proliferation.

Other world leaders are also in attendance, including French President Fran├žois Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The nuclear security summit will be the last such meeting Obama is to attend before leaving the White House in January, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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