N. Korea expert urges full support for peace on Korean Peninsula

JEONJU, South Korea, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- A renowned North Korea expert said on Thursday that peace should be the top priority in dealing with Korean Peninsula issues.

Park Han-sik, an emeritus professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia in the United States, made the argument in a special lecture at the Jeonbuk Ilbo daily newspaper in Jeonju, about 240 kilometers south of Seoul.

"Advocates of peace on the Korean Peninsula are still criticized by some people for being lacking in sense of security. I want to ask the critics how many sacrifices they want," Park said.

"South and North Koreans are the same people and share similar daily lives. Peace on the Korean Peninsula, which has just entered a new turning point, should not be blocked by the security jitters," he said.

Park is known for mediating the North Korea visits of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1994 and former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2009. He has visited North Korea more than 50 times to study the North's circumstances.

"I witnessed with my own eyes a truly disastrous sight during China's civil war between the Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalist Party. People were killed by sickles and spears just because of different party membership," Park said.

"After all, people killed people due to security jitters, and such cruelty has repeated itself until recently," he said, lamenting criticism against the advocates of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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