Seoul sees N Korea’s nuclear program as biggest risk in region

South Korean president Park Geun-hye said Monday that nuclear development by North Korea is the No. 1 destabilizing factor in northeast Asia. “North Korea’s nuclear development is the biggest destabilizing factor in Northeast Asia as well as in the divided Korean peninsula, posing a serious threat to world peace,” Park said during a keynote speech at the World Policy Conference forum held in central Seoul.

Park cited South Korea’s nuclear weapons development as a major obstacle to building a multilateral cooperation framework in the region, calling Pyongyang’s push to develop both economy and nuclear arsenal “contradictory” and “incompatible.”

The president also pointed out historical problems and territorial disputes in the region, indirectly pointing at the wrong perception of history by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, with whom Park has refused to hold summit since her inauguration in Feb. 2013.

Park said the South Korean government has been pursuing “trustpolitik” that should be launched from resolving problems on the Korean peninsula, the last remaining legacy of the Cold War.

She stressed the need for joining hands between South Korea, China and Japan to build trust in northeast Asia, vowing her efforts once again to hold a trilateral summit after having a foreign ministers’ meeting between the three countries in the near future