South Korean president asks for China to help punish North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea's president on Wednesday urged North Korea's only major ally, China, to help punish Pyongyang's recent nuclear test with the strongest possible international sanctions.

See Full Article

Park Geun-hye's comments came as Seoul said North Korea had flown leaflets across the border describing her and her government as "mad dogs" as Cold War-style propaganda warfare continued between the rivals.

South Korea, the United States and others are pushing hard to impose fresh sanctions and other punitive measures on the North for what Pyongyang said was a hydrogen bomb test one week ago.

There is widespread skepticism over the H-bomb claim, but whatever the North detonated underground will likely push the country closer toward a fully functional nuclear arsenal, which it still is not thought to have.

Diplomats at a UN Security Council emergency session last week pledged to swiftly pursue new sanctions. For current sanctions and any new penalties to work, better cooperation and stronger implementation from China, the North's diplomatic and economic protector and a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, is seen as key.

On Wednesday, Park said in a nationally televised news conference that South Korea will push as hard as it can for strong sanctions that can force change in North Korea. But, she said, Chinese help is crucial.

"Holding the hands of someone in a difficult situation is the mark of the best partner," Park said, referring to China and South Korea's need to punish the North. "I trust China, as a permanent member of the Security Council, will play a necessary role."

Beijing has recently shown signs that it's losing patience with North Korea over its repeated provocation. But China is still seen as reluctant to clamp down on the North in part because of fears that a toppled government in Pyongyang would see millions of desperate North Koreans flooding across the border with China and a U.S.-backed South Korean government in control of the Korean Peninsula.

Responding to the North's test, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has urged China, to end "business as usual" with North Korea. But in a telephone conversation with his South Korean counterpart Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made it clear that Beijing supports dialogue to resolve the nuclear standoff. His reported remarks sparked speculation in Seoul that China has no intention of joining in any harsh punishment on the North.

In the wake of the nuclear test, the two Koreas have settled into a Cold War-era standoff. Since Friday, South Korea has been blasting anti-Pyongyang propaganda and K-pop songs from huge speakers along the border, and the North is using speakers of its own in an attempt to keep its soldiers from hearing the South Korean messages.

Park said South Korea will continue its loudspeaker campaign, calling it "the surest and most effective psychological warfare tool."

Park said past broadcasts helped frontline North Korean soldiers learn the truth about Pyongyang's authoritarian rule and defect to South Korea. "The most powerful threat to totalitarianism is the power of truth," she said.

Her military announced Wednesday it has found hundreds of anti-Seoul leaflets near the western portion of the Koreas' border. The Defense Ministry believes those leaflets were floated over by the North's military.

Similar North Korea-sent propaganda leaflets were discovered on a South Korea border island between late 2013 and early 2014. Such leafleting, however, by the North is still rare, though South Korean activists occasionally send anti-Pyongyang leaflets in balloons across the border.

The leaflets found earlier Wednesday included such messages as "Let's knock down the Park Geun-hye group like we do mad dogs" and "The U.S. must immediately stop its anachronistic hostile policy on North Korea."

It may take weeks or longer to confirm or refute the North's claim that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, which would mark a major and unanticipated advance for its still-limited nuclear arsenal.

The test has provoked global outrage, but it has also been a gift of sorts for Park, who has faced several mass protests condemning her leadership in recent weeks.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Saskatoon woman wants 'sizeism' added to human rights protections

    Canada News CTV News
    A Saskatoon woman is campaigning to have size and physical appearance added to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Legislation as protected grounds against discrimination. “I don’t want other people to feel held back,” Hayley Roesler told CTV Saskatoon. Source
  • North Korea says Malaysian investigation into Kim Jong Nam's death lacks fairness

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- North Korea says a Malaysian investigation into the death of one of its nationals is full of "holes and contradictions" amid speculation that its agents masterminded the assassination of leader Kim Jong Un's half brother. Source
  • North Korea denies it was behind killing at Malaysia airport

    World News CTV News
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- North Korea denied Thursday that its agents masterminded the assassination of the half brother of leader Kim Jong Un, saying a Malaysian investigation into the death of one of its nationals is full of "holes and contradictions. Source
  • Mayor of Ryley, Alta., defends decision to charge senior for house painting

    Canada News CTV News
    The mayor of an Alberta village where an 86-year-old man says he was forced to sell his home after getting a $3,285 bill from the city for painting its “unsightly” exterior is sticking by the decision. Source
  • British man 'will never see a penny' of ex's $24M lottery winnings

    World News Toronto Sun
    There’s bad luck. Then there’s Sean Priestley-level bad luck. Just months after splitting with long-time partner Beverley Doran — he was with her 12 years and fathered her three children — he was stunned to discover she’d won nearly $24 million in the Euromillions lottery. Source
  • ‘If we all stand up it can stop’: Pink Shirt Day marked around the world

    Canada News CTV News
    As messages of hate seem to be ever present, Pink Shirt Day reminds Canadians of the importance of standing up for one another and fighting stereotypes. Pink Shirt Day started in Nova Scotia in 2007 after a male Grade 9 student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. Source
  • 'If we all stand up it can stop': Pink Shirt Day hopes to end bullying

    Canada News CTV News
    As messages of hate seem to be ever present, Pink Shirt Day reminds Canadians of the importance of standing up for one another and fighting stereotypes. Pink Shirt Day started in Nova Scotia in 2007 after a male Grade 9 student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. Source
  • UN: $4.4B needed within weeks to stop hunger 'catastrophe'

    World News CTV News
    The United Nations needs $4.4 billion by the end of March to prevent catastrophic hunger and famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, yet just $90 million has been collected so far, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday. Source
  • Two Kansas men jailed for hate-crime attack on Somalis

    World News Toronto Sun
    WICHITA, Kan. — Two southwest Kansas men were punished Wednesday for their roles in a hate crime attack on three Somali that a federal judge said flies in the face of everything cherished in this country. U.S. Source
  • Quebecer charged in PC Plus breach, collectors urged to fortify password

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Ottawa police have confirmed that a Laval, Que., man is alleged to be behind a scam that involves stealing shoppers’ PC Plus points from their accounts. Police say 21-year-old Ferradji Manigat was arrested on Jan. Source