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S.Korea leader urges world to 'tear down' Cold War frontier

25 september 2014, 13:27

  South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Wednesday urged the world to help bring down the world's last Cold War frontier with the North, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, AFP reports.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Park made note of the Berlin Wall anniversary coming up in November and said that the Korean peninsula "remains stifled by a wall of division."

"I call on the international community to stand with us in tearing down the world's last remaining wall of division," she said.

Park reiterated her call for an international "peace park" on the tense Demilitarized Zone and her pledge to engage North Korea if it pursues "a different path" that includes giving up nuclear weapons.

"Should it choose to do so, the Republic of Korea, together with the international community, will provide our strong support for developing the (North Korean) economy," she said.

North Korea's communist dynasty has carried out three nuclear weapons tests, saying that it needs the arms to guard against hostility from the United States and its South Korean ally.

The United States and South Korea have repeatedly pressed North Korea to give up its weapons and have increasingly put a greater emphasis on its human rights record, which rights groups say is among the world's most dire.

Park called for greater protections for North Korean refugees, a veiled illusion to China which according to rights groups regularly sends defectors back to near certain persecution.

"The international community should also pay greater attention to the human rights situation of North Korean defectors," Park said.

"Relevant UN agencies and countries should provide the necessary support so that defectors can freely choose their resettlement destinations," she said.

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