South Korea Warns North of 'Regime Collapse'
Harsh tone is expected to infuriate Pyongyang
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 16, 2016 3:32 AM CST
South Korean army soldiers pass by a TV screen showing the live broadcast of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's speech, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.    (Ahn Young-joon)
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(Newser) – South Korea's president warned Tuesday that rival North Korea faces collapse if it doesn't abandon its nuclear bomb program, an unusually strong broadside that will likely infuriate Pyongyang. President Park Geun-hye, in a nationally televised parliamentary address, said South Korea will take unspecified "stronger and more effective" measures to make North Korea realize its nuclear ambitions will result only in speeding up of its "regime collapse." The speech was meant to defend Park's decision last week to shut down the Koreas' last major cooperation project, a jointly run factory park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.

Park and her deputies maintain that South Korean payments to workers at Kaesong have gone in large part straight to the leaders who oversee North Korea's nuclear bomb and missile programs, reports the AP, which notes that the brusque tone of Park's comments directly challenge the powerful, ubiquitous North Korean propaganda machine's portrayal of the dictators who have run the country since its founding in 1948 as infallible. Any high-level talk of regime collapse by the conservative president of rival South Korea—and by the daughter of one of the North's most hated enemies, late South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee—amounts to fighting words. (Activists are trying to change the lives of North Koreans with old flash drives loaded with Western TV shows.)
 

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