Park-inter-Korean relations

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday called for a steady development of inter-Korean relations in a way that will lead to lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The president made the remarks during a joint policy briefing by the foreign and unification ministries as she outlined the new government's aims with regards to North Korea issues.

"The new government's foreign and North Korea policy is designed to establish peace and a foundation for reunification by building and restoring trust between the South and the North upon firm (national) security," Park said at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

"Without rushing and in the same way that we would lay one brick after another, based on trust, (we) will have to develop South-North relations step by step and create sustainable peace."

The president also stressed the importance of principles and consistency in pushing policies, saying if North Korea provokes, it will have to pay the price, while if it keeps its promises, the South should do the same.

"The peace attained by gaining each other's trust can then become the true peace the people wish for and the foundation for reunification," Park said.

The government should seek a national agreement and consensus on any foreign or unification policy because only then will policies last and survive changes in administration, she added.

Park has made trust building a cornerstone of her policy on North Korea, pledging to provide large-scale international economic assistance to the North in return for steps to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

However, the communist nation's recent war threats, in addition to its missile and nuclear tests over the past few months, have undermined her efforts to launch the process.

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