Park warns of strong measures over N. Korea's tyranny
President Park Geun-hye pledged Monday to put pressure on North Korea until Pyongyang drops its nuclear weapons program and ends its tyranny.
The communist country has long been accused of pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles while starving its people and violating their human rights.
"I will sternly and strongly deal with North Korea... until North Korea embarks on the path toward denuclearization and ends the tyranny of oppressing the human rights of North Korean people and pushing them to starvation," Park said in an annual meeting with South Korea's top envoys around.
A U.N. report showed last year that about 70 percent of North Korea's 24 million people are suffering due to food shortages. It said 1.8 million, including children and pregnant women, are in need of nutritional food supplies aimed at fighting malnutrition.
Park's latest comments underscored South Korea's get-tough policy toward its communist neighbor to make sure Pyongyang will abandon its nuclear program.
The U.N. Security Council has unanimously adopted a new resolution to punish North Korea for its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7.
The sanctions call for, among other things, the mandatory inspection of all cargo going into and out of the North and a ban on the country's exports of coal and other mineral resources to cut off North Korea's access to hard currency.
Park called on South Korea's ambassadors to make efforts to ensure that countries where they are stationed will implement the resolution in good faith.
The Philippines seized North Korean ship Jin Teng earlier this month, becoming the first country to enforce sanctions on North Korea.
Park also vowed to end what she calls a vicious circle, in which North Korea stages provocations largely with impunity and international aid to North Korea ends up in the North's nuclear and missile programs.
North Korea has repeatedly pledged to boost its nuclear capability, viewing its nuclear program as a powerful deterrent against what it claims is Washington's hostile policy towards it.