South Korea Warns of North Korea Collapse

South Korea Warns of North Korea CollapseSouth Korea Warns of North Korea Collapse

South Korea’s president warned on Tuesday that rival North Korea faces collapse if it doesn’t abandon its nuclear bomb program, an unusually strong broadside that will likely infuriate Pyongyang.

President Park Geun-hye, in a nationally televised parliamentary address defending her decision to shut down a jointly run factory park in North Korea, said South Korea will take unspecified “stronger and more effective” measures to make North Korea realize its nuclear ambitions will result only in speeding up its “regime collapse”, AP reported.

Park shut the facility in response to the North’s recent long-range rocket test, which Seoul and Washington see as a test of banned ballistic missile technology.

North Korea last month also conducted a fourth nuclear test. Both developments put the country further along in its quest for a nuclear armed missile that could reach the US mainland.

Without elaborating, Park said the North has diverted much of the Seoul payments to North Korean workers at the factory park to the Pyongyang leadership, which is in charge of nuclear and missile development. She also said the South has sent more than $3 billion in government and civilian aid to the North since mid-1990s.

Much of the aid was made when South Korea was governed by back-to-back liberal governments seeking rapprochement with North Korea from 1998 to 2003, according to her office. Park said South Korea must not provide few-strings-attached large-scale aid to North Korea “like in the past”.

She called for support for her government amid a divide in South Korea about its tough response to North Korea.

“Aiming the point of a sword back at us and splitting us up are things that must not take place,” she said.

South Korea’s main liberal opposition party has criticized the government’s decision to suspend operations at Kaesong, saying the measure will hurt only South Korean businessmen and deepen tensions with North Korea. Following Pyongyang’s rocket launch, Seoul announced it will begin talks with Washington on deploying a sophisticated US missile defense system in South Korea and that the allies’ upcoming springtime military drills will be the biggest ever.