The Straits Times
Published on Sep 12, 2012

Korean reunification 'inevitable', says S.Korean president


OSLO (AFP) - South Korean President Lee Myung Bak on Wednesday described as "inevitable" the peaceful reunification of his country with North Korea, whose new leader has been in place for nine months.

"We are the only divided nation in the world and it is inevitable that we (will) come to peaceful reunification at some point," Mr Lee told reporters in Oslo.

"Nuclear weapons or military might is not a way for North Korea to overcome the current problem," he said, urging Pyongyang to renounce its nuclear programme as demanded by the United Nations. The two Koreas have remained technically at war since the Korean War ended in 1953 with a truce rather than a peace treaty.

The death on Dec 17 of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and his replacement by his son Kim Jong Un have relaunched debate in South Korea about the chances of reunification, though it is seen as being far off given the persisting tension between the two countries.