SEOUL, June 6 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to abandon its nuclear weapons program and become a member of the international community.
"As long as North Korea (DPRK) continues its nuclear development and provocative threats, peace on the Korean Peninsula will go far away," Park said at the 59th anniversary commemoration of the Memorial Day held in the Seoul National Cemetery.
Park urged the DPRK to put down its nuclear development and provocative threats if the regime really wants its economic development and the improved quality of people's life, saying that she sincerely hoped the DPRK give up its nuclear weapons and revive its economy by the help of the international community.
The South Korean woman leader said Seoul has made efforts to build up the foundation for peaceful reunification while dealing sternly with the DPRK's provocations, noting peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula will open a new opportunity for Northeast Asia and the entire world while bringing peace and prosperity to people of the two Koreas.
Tensions are running high on the Korean Peninsula as the DPRK threatened a new form of nuclear test after firing some 90 short- range missiles in late February and March in protest against the joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.
The two Koreas exchanged artillery fires in the disputed western sea boundary on May 22, around two months after trading hundreds of artillery shells in late March.
Touching on the ferry sinking disaster, Park said the national safety will not be achieved without cleaning up evils deeply rooted in every nook and cranny of the society, vowing to make South Korea reborn as a safe country by normalizing the society's abnormal evils.
The ferry Sewol capsized and sank off the southwestern coast on April 16, leaving more than 300 people, mostly high school students, dead or missing. Still, 15 people remained unaccounted for.