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Seoul mayor expresses hope to visit Pyongyang

2017/08/10 17:15

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SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said Thursday he wants to visit North Korea's capital of Pyongyang as part of efforts to bolster exchanges between the two cities so as to contribute to improving inter-Korean relations and eventually unification.

Park made the remark during a discussion on North Korea and inter-Korean relations amid heightened tensions in the wake of the North's surprise threat to fire missiles into waters around the U.S. territory of Guam as a warning against Washington.

"I want to visit Pyongyang at an appropriate time so as to play the role of manure for unification," Park said. "City exchanges between Seoul and Pyongyang could provide us with a chance to open up an era of unification."

   Park, a potential presidential candidate, expressed clear opposition to the North's nuclear program.

"Nuclear weapons cannot be tolerated under any circumstances," he said. "I condemn the nuclear tests and missile provocations that North Korea has been carrying out as if it's unbridled."

   Still, Park said that efforts to reduce tension and promote peace must continue, and exchanges between cities can be a way to do so. He also said he's ready to provide a blueprint for exchanges between Seoul and Pyongyang.