The Straits Times
Published on Feb 08, 2013

N. Korea nuclear test could 'tie hands' of South: UN chief


UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN leader Ban Ki-moon warned on Thursday that a nuclear test by North Korea could blow up hopes of an eventual reconciliation by "tying the hands" of the South's incoming president.

Mr Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, said incoming South Korean president Park Geun Hye is "very much committed" to improving relations with North Korea.

"If they conduct this nuclear test, it may be the case that they are effectively tying the hands of the new president of Korea," Mr Ban told a small group of reporters, including AFP.

"It may take a long time before any initiative between North and South can take place to normalize this relationship," he said, adding to international warnings to the isolated North.