S. Korea urges N. Korea to scrap nuclear weapons program

South Korean President Park Geun Hye on Saturday urged North Korea to scrap its nuclear weapons program while expressing her readiness to increase exchanges and cooperation if the North "makes the right choice."

"I urge North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons development program and seek changes and peace," Park said in a speech at a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement that halted the three-year Korean War.

If North Korea makes the right choice, Park said, South Korea is "willing to expand exchanges and cooperation with the North and seek ways to ensure co-prosperity of the two Koreas."

She said South Korea "will do its utmost to have North Korea stop its military provocations and become a responsible member of the international community."

Relations between the two Koreas became further strained this week after their sixth round of working-level talks on resuming operations at the suspended industrial zone at the North's border city of Kaesong were virtually broken up on Thursday.

Operations at the industrial zone were suspended in early April when North Korea withdrew all its 53,000 workers employed by more than 100 South Korean companies at Kaesong.

That came after North Korea cut off communication links with South Korea in March in response to joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises and the South's condemnation of the North's third nuclear test in February, which was carried out in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.