December 20, 2012 / 1:23 AM / 7 years ago

South Korea President-elect Park says North Korea poses grave security challenge

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s conservative President-elect Park Geun-hye said on Thursday the launch of a long-range rocket by North Korea last week showed security was a major concern in North East Asia and pledged to work with regional partners for greater peace.

“North Korea’s long-range missile launch showed how grave the security reality is that we are faced with,” Park said at a news conference a day after she won the country’s presidential election.

“I will try to work for greater reconciliation, cooperation and peace in North East Asia based on correct perception of history,” she said, in an apparent reference to simmering conflict with Tokyo over their colonial past.

Japan colonized Korea and has a conflict over a claim on an island, while South Korea says there has not been an adequate apology for forced sexual slavery of Korean women during its occupation.

Park, who is daughter of the country’s assassinated military ruler Park Chung-hee, was elected on Wednesday with 51.6 percent of the vote.

Reporting by Jack Kim

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