Departing South Korean leader warns North Korea

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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, center, holds the National Security Council (NSC) meeting regarding North Korea\'s nuclear test at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. North Korea said it successfully detonated a miniaturized nuclear device at a northeastern test site Tuesday, defying U.N. Security Council orders to shut down atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Do Kwang-hwan) KOREA OUT

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's outgoing president warns North Korea has pushed itself further into a corner with its recent nuclear test.

President Lee Myung-bak said Tuesday in his farewell address that North Korea will only face international sanctions and isolation if it hangs on to its nuclear and missile programs.

South Korea has pressed for tighter U.N. sanctions on North Korea since Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test last week. North Korea defends the underground blast as an act of deterrence against U.S. hostility.

Lee leaves office next Monday. The relations between the two Koreas have frayed badly during his single, five-year tenure.

His successor, Park Geun-hye, has called for reopening dialogue with Pyongyang but also remains firmly opposed to North Korea's nuclear program.

 
 
 

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