Park Geun Hye To Attend U.N General Assembly in New York

David Lee, Sept. 16, 2015, 9:35 a.m.

President Park Geun-hye will visit New York later this month to attend the U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. summit for sustainable development, Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday. Park is set to address the U.N. summit on Sept. 26, which is designed to adopt the post-2015 development agenda, the presidential office said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked world leaders to attend the U.N. summit for the launch of the new agenda, which serves as a guideline for sustainable development over the next 15 years. The new agenda is a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals meant to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce child mortality and achieve universal primary education.

The Millennium Development Goals, which run from 2001 through 2015, also called for global efforts to promote gender equality and improve maternal health, as well as combat HIV and AIDS. Park also plans to discuss with world leaders how to produce a legally binding deal on cutting greenhouse gases during the U.N. Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris later this year.

In June, South Korea offered to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent by 2030 from 850.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, an amount Seoul says it would reach if it lets business run as usual. The ambitious pledge underscores South Korea's commitment to play a leading role in reducing heat-trapping gases that scientists say are to blame for global warming.

Park also plans to address the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 28 and attend the separate U.N. summit on U.N. peacekeeping operations. The announcement came as North Korea has ratcheted up tensions again with its missile and nuclear weapons programs. On Tuesday, North Korea warned it could use nuclear weapons at any time to cope with the hostile policy of the United States and other hostile forces.

Still, the North -- which conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 -- did not specify whether it means it could carry out another nuclear test. The North has a track record of carrying out nuclear tests about three months after launching a long-range missile or rocket. On Monday, North Korea also vowed to launch a series of satellites as part of its space development program.

North Korea did not provide any specific time frame for the satellite launches, but there is speculation that it may launch a long-range rocket in October to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party. North Korea claims that its satellite launches are a peaceful project for science and economic development, calling it a sovereign right. South Korea and the U.S. view the satellite launches as a cover for testing the North's ballistic missile technology, which is banned under a U.N. resolution.

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