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Departing South Korean leader warns North Korea

Tuesday - 2/19/2013, 4:26am  ET

CORRECTS SPELLING TO LEE MYUNG -BAK INSTEAD OF LEE MUNG-BAK - People watch a television airing a live broadcast of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's retirement speech at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. During his address, Lee warned North Korea has pushed itself further into a corner with its recent nuclear test. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

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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