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Park Geun-hye hints at warmer ties with N.K.

Aug. 22, 2011 - 19:33 By
Korea should seek to rebuild trust with North Korea, while maintaining an unyielding stance on national security, said Rep. Park Geun-hye the highest-polled presidential hopeful, in a contribution to a journal.

Park contributed a 2,500-word paper titled “The New Korea: Building trust between Seoul and Pyongyang” to Foreign Affairs, a leading U.S. academic journal, according to Radio Free Asia, an international broadcasting agency on Friday.

Her contribution was classified as a comment piece on a current affairs issue, according to Foreign Affairs.

The September-October issue of the bimonthly, which carries Park’s article, is to be released next Tuesday.

In the contribution, Park stresses that Korea should no longer tolerate any of North Korea’s armed provocations and that it should collaborate with the rest of the world to curb the communist state’s nuclear projects.

This generally was in line with her previous comments related to North Korea.

“We are by all means to show North Korea that they are to pay a price for their provocative attacks,” she said last November, following the North Korean bombing on a northwestern border island of Yeonpyeong.

She also pledged to reinforce national security in order to prevent such tragedies from recurring.

The presidential frontrunner, however, stated in her paper that the two Koreas should take a step forward from their current relationship, hinting that her North Korea policies will differ from President Lee Myung-bak’s.

She added that such changes should take place gradually through a thorough examination so as not to cause social and political confusion.

In a recent survey conducted by a local daily on lawmakers, 84.1 percent of the respondents favored Park as the GNP’s presidential candidate in next year’s race. Also, 50.8 percent predicted her to become the next state leader.

Earlier this year, Park had suggested she contribute to the journal.

Foreign Affairs was founded in 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-profit and nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to improving U.S. foreign policy and international affairs.

By Bae Hyun-jung (