SEOUL — President Park Geun-hye of South Korea warned on Monday that there would be more provocations from North Korea after the North’s fifth nuclear test last week, adding that they could raise the danger of war.
Park was meeting leaders of opposition political parties to appeal for a united front against what she called the North’s “maniacal obsession” with building a nuclear arsenal. Park has become increasingly critical of the North since Friday’s test, saying its leader, Kim Jong Un, was guilty of “fanatical recklessness” and that “his mental condition should be considered out of control.”
On Monday, she ruled out dialogue with the country, saying its nuclear program was a “present and urgent threat.” She said talks would only buy the North more time to perfect its nuclear weapons. China, Russia, and opposition parties in South Korea have called for talks with North Korea, insisting that sanctions alone could not end its nuclear ambitions.
The nuclear test was the most powerful by the North to date, and the government later claimed to have tested a “standardized” warhead to be fitted on its ballistic missiles.
The United States and its allies are seeking stronger UN sanctions against the North.
The opposition leaders joined Park in condemning the North Korean nuclear test, but accused her of using the North Korean threat to suppress dissent at home. They oppose Park’s decision to deploy a US-backed missile system in the South.