Foreign minister nominee counts N. Korean nukes as top priority

NEW YORK-- South Korea's foreign minister nominee said Sunday that North Korean nuclear issues would be the top priority task for the next foreign minister and she plans to tap her experiences in the United Nations to deal with the issues.

"North Korean nuclear issues have long remained as a big international issue on the Korean Peninsula and beyond. It is also often mentioned in the U.N., although I have not coped with the issue in person," Kang Kyung-hwa told reporters at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

"I am intending to make my share of contributions (to the issue) with such a background," she said.

Kang was nominated as the top diplomat on Sunday. If approved by the National Assembly, she will become South Korea's first female foreign minister.

Kang is currently special advisor on policy to the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after serving in several posts at the ministry in the past.

"I feel burdened in my shoulders (as I was nominated) against the backdrop of so many difficult diplomatic problems," Kang said. "I will be doing my best."

Kang said she may take several days to be back in South Korea as she needs time to wrap up her responsibilities at the current post.

She also acknowledged her daughter's dual citizenship and false resident registration, potential qualification issues which the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, brought up when it announced the designation. She will discuss the issues in detail during a parliamentary confirmation hearing, she said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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