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Americans Can Learn From Korean “Plaza Democracy”
by Joseph Essertier
June 29, 2018
“Broadly speaking, the candlelight protest movement had two goals. The first goal was to restore social justice by punishing wrong-doers under the previous Park and Lee administrations. The second goal was to implement equitable policies and measures that could ensure a level playing field for the haves and the have-nots.”
— Mi Park, South Korea’s Candlelight Revolution: The Power of Plaza Democracy (2018)
Understanding how Koreans have achieved some of their goals through their Candlelight Revolution may help us all find a way to cope with the rise of nationalism, racism, and tribalism; militarism; sexism; violations of our right to freedom of expression; and the power gap between often unified corporate and government power on the one hand, and usually weak people power on the other—in short, the subjugation of democracy to the global resurgence of fascism. Fortunately, even in this period of danger and darkness, there are those who are willing do the work of laying the foundations for genuine democracy. No better example can be found than the 2016/17 Candlelight Revolution of South Korea, which showed unequivocally that genuine democratic action can lead to peaceful revolution in the real world.
[Candlelight Revolution] [Liberal]
Historic legal shift on Military Service Act for first time in 70 years
Posted on : Jun.28,2018 17:40 KST Modified on : Jun.28,2018 17:40 KST
Constitutional court rules lack of alternatives for conscientious objectors is unconstitutional
The Constitutional Court of Korea declared that the Military Service Act must include legal provisions that detail alternative service routes for conscientious objectors in a ruling in Seoul on June 28. (Yonhap News)
The Constitutional Court of Korea ruled that legal provisions that do not offer alternative routes of service to conscientious objectors who refuse military service on religious or moral grounds is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Korea. The historic ruling came 70 years after the first military draft laws were issued in 1950, during which over 19,000 conscientious objectors have been punished for violating military service laws.
[Conscientious objectors] [ROK military]
2 Koreas Hope to Cooperate on Railways
By Lee Yong-soo
June 27, 2018 12:42
North and South Korea have agreed to form a committee that will conduct a feasibility study for a railway linking the North Korean cities of Kaesong and Sinuiju on the Chinese border.
Another feasibility study will be conducted on a railroad between North Korea's Mt. Kumgang resort and the Tumen River that forms part of the border with China.
Officials from the two sides reached the agreement in the border truce village of Panmunjom on Tuesday. North and South Korea will also hold talks Thursday about refurbishing roads in the North and next week to discuss ways of reforesting barren mountains in the North.
South Korea's interest in the rail links is practical. A railroad from Kaesong on the inter-Korean border to Sinuiju would give it overland access to China, and onward to Siberia and Mongolia to boost trade.
In 2003, the two Koreas briefly reconnected a severed rail line connecting Munsan in the South with Kaesong in the North in 2003 which already stretches all the way to Sinuiju. But the rail infrastructure is so antiquated that it requires a major overhaul.
Even the power grid is different on both sides. The South uses 25,000-volt alternating currents, while the North uses 3,000-volt direct currents. An official at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said, "We may face a more urgent need to build power stations than repairing railways."
North Korea still uses wooden sleepers and used rails imported from China and Russia. A railway engineer said trains runs at speeds of just 20 to 40 km for fear of tunnels and bridges collapsing.
The cost could be astronomical. One researcher at a state-run think tank here said, "We don't know how much North Korea wants to modernize its railway system, but if it is considering a transcontinental railway, you need to think of high-speed trains."
But to make that happen, international sanctions against the North need to be eased. Under UN Security Council resolutions, non-profit infrastructure projects can be permitted, but anything else is impossible for now.
[Detente] [Railways] [Sanctions] [US dominance]
2 Koreas Keep War Anniversary Low-Key
By Jeong Woo-sang
June 26, 2018 12:57
Monday was the 68th anniversary of the Korean War, but neither South nor North Korea issued any special messages to mark it, unlike in previous years, to maintain the mood of détente.
President Moon Jae-in made no appearance at a ceremony in Seoul marking the anniversary, having not attended last year either. Instead, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon addressed the public there.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon attends a ceremony to mark the 68th anniversary of the 1950-53 Korean War at a gymnasium in Seoul on Monday. /Newsis
"The government will do its utmost to realize this miraculous opportunity for peace," Lee told attendees.
North Korea also refrained from expressing anti-American sentiment, in stark contrast to the anti-American rally it held every year so far.
[Korean war] [Detente]
Gov't in Muddle Over Frontline Artillery
By Jun Hyun-suk
June 26, 2018 12:59
The government is in a muddle over frontline long-range artillery after Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Monday that negotiations are underway between the two Koreas to remove it to rear areas.
Lee later reversed his claim, saying, "There were no formal negotiations on the topic."
Military authorities had also flagged the suspension of live fire artillery drills on the northwesternmost islands off North Korea's coast in the West Sea, but said later nothing has been decided.
Lee made the first claim at a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the Korean War.
Reports said that North Korean delegates to cross-border military talks on June 14 proposed moving artillery pieces with a range of 40 to 60 km concentrated near the demilitarized zone to rear areas. But the Defense Ministry here has denied this.
After Lee made the remarks, the ministry still insisted that the topic never came up.
Six hours later, Lee's office issued a press release claiming the issue "was at one point reviewed in South Korea but not yet officially discussed at the military talks." But it tried to save Lee's face by saying it is "one of many topics to be discussed in future cross-border military talks."
The K-9 self-propelled howitzers are there to protect islanders from North Korean attacks like the North’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, 2010. The howitzers immediately fired back, destroying several North Korean facilities. Scores of North Korean soldiers were reportedly killed and wounded.
[Artillery] [Detente] [Yeonpyeong] [Live fire]
Inter-Korean divided family reunions to be held between Aug. 20 and 26 at Mt. Kumgang
Posted on : Jun.23,2018 15:29 KST Modified on : Jun.23,2018 15:29 KST
100 people from both sides to meet face-to-face, according to previous practices
Park Kyung-seo (right), head of the Korean Red Cross and leader of the South Korean delegation, shakes hands with Pak Yong-il, vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country and leader of the North Korean delegation, during inter-Korean Red Cross talks on June 22 at the Mt. Kumgang Hotel, where the two sides held discussions concerning face-to-face family reunions set for August. (joint photo pool)
South and North Korea have announced that they will be holding face-to-face reunions for families divided by the Korean War between Aug. 20 and 26 at Mt. Kumgang, in line with the Apr. 27 Panmunjeom Declaration in which South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised to hold such reunions around Aug. 15, the day when Koreans celebrate their liberation from Japanese colonial rule. No reunions have been held for nearly three years, since the 20th reunion was held at Mt. Kumgang on Oct. 20-26, 2015.
South and North Korea agreed to abide by previous practices in regard to the scale of the reunions (100 people from both sides) and the method (face-to-face reunions). Since the facility used for reunions at Mt. Kumgang has been neglected for the past three years, the two sides agreed to make the repairs and renovations necessary for holding the reunions there. The plan is for the two sides to request confirmation that family members slated to attend the reunions are alive by July 3, to provide confirmation by July 25 and to exchange the final lists of attendees by Aug. 4. South Korea is planning to send a team of facility inspectors to the site on June 27 to look into repairs and renovations.
Two Koreas agree to restore military hotlines
Posted : 2018-06-25 17:13
Updated : 2018-06-25 18:35
By Lee Min-hyung
The Ministry of National Defense said Monday the two Koreas agreed to restore hotlines across the inter-Korean coastal borders.
"The two Koreas ended their colonel-level negotiations at 10:53 a.m. Monday to reconnect the military communication lines on the west and east coasts," the ministry said after holding a working-level military dialogue with North Korea.
The meeting was organized to discuss follow-up measures after Seoul and Pyongyang signed a series of inter-Korean military agreements in mid-June.
[SK NK Negotiations] [Detent] [Military] [Hotline]
Kingmaker 'JP' mourned by politicians, citizens
Posted : 2018-06-25 16:56
Updated : 2018-06-25 16:58
The Mugunghwa Medal of the Order of Civil Merit, right, is displayed on the table next to Kim Jong-pil's portrait at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Monday. The political heavyweight died of age-related complications on Saturday. He was 92. / Yonhap
By Park Ji-won
Kim Jong-pil, familiarly called "JP," the two-time prime minister and founder of Korea's spy agency, was mourned by politicians and citizens on the third day of his funeral that started Saturday when the political heavyweight passed away at age 92.
On Monday, former six-term lawmaker Rhee In-je, Liberty Korea Party candidate for South Chungcheong Province governor, in the last local elections, visited the funeral.
"A big star has fallen in our modern society," Rhee said. "He contributed to the success of industrialization and built a social and economic foundation of democracy. He also played a positive role in the democratization process."
Lee Jeong-mi, leader of the minor Justice Party, also attended the ceremony and said "I came here to mourn the people who made great ups and downs in Korea's modern history." But Lee said, "when it comes to the May 16 military coup and the Yushin regime, an era of Park Chung-hee's dictatorship, historical assessment stands apart from judgment on his political life."
Meanwhile, the presidential office announced President Moon Jae-in would not pay a visit to Kim's service. On the day of Kim's death, Moon sent funeral flowers while senior political affairs secretary Han Byung-do visited the funeral as did Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon.
Having served nine terms in the Assembly, Kim Jong-pil had one of the longest political careers in modern Korean history. Kim is the last of the "Three Kims," a group of political heavyweights including two presidents _ Kim Young-sam who died in 2015, and Kim Dae-jung who died in 2009.
Born in 1926, Kim Jong-pil graduated from the Korea Military Academy and was a key member of the 1961 military coup that put Army Maj. Gen. Park Chung-hee in power until Park's assassination in 1979.
[Kim Jong-pil] [KCIA] [Park Chung-hee] [Military dictatorships]
North and South Korean church leaders share table, issue call to lift sanctions on DPRK
Ecumenical News Reporter |Saturday, June 23 2018
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(Photo: Peter Kenny)Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula (EFK) on June 22, 2018 during a two-day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland call for the lifting of United Nations sanctions on North Korea
A two-day historic meeting involving church leaders from both the North and South of the Korean Peninsula has ended in Geneva with the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula (EFK) issuing a call to "Seek Peace and Pursue It."
"In order to enhance the political environment for realization of the commitments made at the Panmunjom Summit and the subsequent DPRK-US Singapore Summit, we appeal for all countries to refrain from the confrontation and militarization in the region," the EFK said in its statement at the end of the June 23 meeting.
"In addition, in order to remove obstacles to development cooperation in the spirit of the Panmunjom Declaration, we call for the economic sanctions against the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) to be lifted immediately," the EFK said.
[Singapore summit] [Religion] [Sanctions]
North Korea sanctions to remain until denuclearization achieved: South Korea minister
Sanctions against North Korea will remain in place until Pyongyang can assure concerned parties such as South Korea that “complete denuclearization has been achieved”, the South’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha addresses a joint news conference alongside U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-ji/Pool
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said South Korea expected to see “concrete action” by North Korea to “live up to its complete denuclearization commitment”, in return for guarantees of its security and other efforts for peace.
“Meanwhile, the sanctions will remain in place until we are assured that complete denuclearization has been achieved,” Kang told a news conference in Seoul.
[SK NK policy] [US dominance] [Kang Kyung-wha]
N.Korea Offers to Remove Long-Range Artillery from Frontline
By Lee Yong-soo
June 18, 2018 11:06
North Korean delegates at cross-border military talks in the truce village of Panmunjom last Thursday offered to move their long-range artillery pieces from the military demarcation line to rear areas, a source said Sunday.
The Defense Ministry denied it, but the source said, "The North Korean delegates brought it up first as a matter of principle." This would go a long way toward reducing military tensions. It is not known why the North made the offer or what it expects in return.
The North has deployed about 1,000 artillery guns near the MDL. Some 330 are trained on the Seoul region, including six battalions of 170-mm self-propelled artillery guns with a range of 54 km and some 10 battalions of 240-mm multiple rocket launchers with a range of 60 km.
The launchers are hidden in tunnels in ordinary times but can be moved out quickly to fire shells. A diplomatic source said, "This may be an attempt to maintain the momentum of the U.S.-North Korea summit."
But the North is unlikely to have attached no conditions. It probably demanded that South Korea and the U.S. also move their frontline artillery guns to rear areas.
Some commentators downplayed the threat the North Korean artillery poses. One retired general said, "Many people think that the North Korean artillery attacks could turn the Seoul area into ashes in just a few hours, but that's based on the assumption of the South Korean military giving no response at all."
Shin Won-shik, a former operations chief at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "Long-range artillery guns are not as effective as in the past. Our military is also developing a missile defense system. If the South Korean and U.S. artillery guns are removed to rear areas, we will be deprived of effective frontline defense in an emergency."
The issue is expected to be discussed in the next cross-border talks.
Over 200,000 Koreans sign petition calling for deportation of Yemeni refugees in Jeju
Posted on : Jun.19,2018 17:03 KST Modified on : Jun.19,2018 17:03 KST
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Civic groups express worries of Islamophobia
A Yemeni refugee shows Hankyoreh reporters a video of his hometown being bombed on his mobile phone (left). On the right is a citizens’ petition to the Blue House calling for the revocation of refugee applications.
Calls to deport Yemeni refugees on Jeju Island are intensifying two months into a large-scale influx of people fleeing the war-torn nation
With five days of its posting, a Blue House citizens’ petition calling to revoke refugee application permits for the refugees had over 220,000 signatures as of 4 pm on June 18. Another Blue House petition with similar content was posted on June 17 but subsequently deleted for “false and defamatory content.”
[Racism] [Islamophobia] [Asylum] [Refugee reception]
Brass from 2 Koreas Meet in Panmunjom
By Jun Hyun-suk
June 15, 2018 09:21
Army generals from the two Koreas met at Tongilgak on the northern side of the truce village of Panmunjom on Thursday. They agreed to try and prevent accidental clashes in the West Sea and restore cross-border military communication lines.
They also discussed ways to demilitarize the Joint Security Area in the truce village. It was the first meeting of generals from the two sides in 11 years and the first military talks since 2014.
The two Koreas had already agreed to implement an agreement reached by generals on June 4, 2004 to prevent accidental clashes in the West Sea, ensuring that naval vessels do not stand up to each other there, halt propaganda activities along the military demarcation line and remove propaganda loudspeakers.
[SK NK Negotiations] [Military] [Detente]
Moon on summit
I offer my heartfelt congratulations and welcome the success of the historic North Korea-United States summit. This is just a beginning and there may be many difficulties ahead, but we will never go back to the past again and never give up on this bold journey.
[Singapore summit] [Moon Jae-in]
Real Denuclearisation and the Establishment of a Lasting Peace on the Korean Peninsula are Up to Us
- KPTU will continue to work for a peaceful and equal Korea -
On June 12 Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of the Korea and Donald Trump, President of the United States of America held the first ever summit between leaders of the two countries at the Capella Hotel in Singapore. Following the meeting, the two leaders signed a joint statement containing commitments to (1) establishment of a new U.S.-DPRK relationship for peace and prosperity, (2) joint efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, (3) North Korean reaffirmation of the Panmunjom Agreement and efforts to achieve complete denuclearisation, and (4) joint work to recover POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
The very fact that the top leaders of North Korea and the U.S., two countries whose relationship has been laced with hostility and mutual threats for the last seventy years, sat together in one place and shared dialogue is historic and signals a new era in which peace on the Korean Peninsula is possible. We therefore welcome the North Korea-U.S. Summit and joint statement.
[Singapore summit] [Labour]
Moon’s policies could enhance cooperation with B&R
May 14, 2018 Pak-China News Exchange Section 0
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made much of economic cooperation with Northern countries. Not long after taking office, he decided to assemble the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation (PCNEC).
In late August 2017, Moon appointed Song Young-gil as head of the PCNEC. Moon announced his New Northern Policy at the third Eastern Economic Forum, which kicked off in September 2017 in Vladivostok, Russia.
In an interview in April with HK01, a Hong Kong-based media outlet, Song said that Moon mentioned the New Northern Policy during his visit to China, proposing stronger cooperation between China and South Korea on areas such as trade and investment. Also, he suggested the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative and the New Northern Policy should be jointly directed at cooperation in infrastructure construction and Super Grid connection, to get other neighboring countries on board.
[Moon Jae-in] [B&R]
The Koreas are moving ahead
By Ramon Pacheco Pardo, opinion contributor — 06/09/18 03:00 PM EDT
The world is awaiting the June 12 summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But the Koreas already have moved beyond the summit’s predicted narrow focus on denuclearization. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are starting a rapprochement process that, if successful, would fundamentally transform the geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia at large. This process is likely to continue regardless of the outcome of the Trump-Kim summit.
To explain why both Koreas have begun this process, we need to understand what Moon wants to achieve. He sees inter-Korean trade and investment links as the best guarantee for a peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula. His rationale is that this would necessarily change Pyongyang’s strategic calculus as the economies of South and North become intertwined.
Similarly, Seoul sees regular diplomatic, military and cultural exchanges as essential to the normalization of inter-Korean relations. It is significant that Moon met with Kim for a second time only three days after Trump initially cancelled his summit with the North Korean leader. This sent the message that inter-Korean rapprochement will continue irrespective of the state of U.S.-North Korea relations, a policy has the support of many South Korean people who do not want their country’s North Korea policy to be dictated from Washington or Beijing.
South Korean officials visit Gaeseong to prepare for liaison office
Posted : 2018-06-08 15:44
Updated : 2018-06-08 16:19
Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung speaks to reporters, Friday, before visiting North Korea to check facilities at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex in preparation for opening a liaison office there. / Joint press corps
'Office unrelated to resuming Gaeseong Industrial Complex'
By Choi Ha-young
A team of South Korean officials visited Gaeseong Industrial Complex, an inter-Korean joint industrial zone in North Korea, Friday, to inspect the area before opening a joint liaison office there.
The two Koreas agreed on the plan to establish a liaison office in Gaeseong during a high-level meeting on June 1, as stipulated in the Panmunjeom Declaration signed by President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on April 27.
Pre-Election Polls Give Ruling Party Solid Lead
June 07, 2018 11:03
The ruling Minjoo Party is expected to be the clear winner in 14 out of 17 major electoral districts in local elections next week, according to a poll released on Wednesday.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party is seen winning only in its traditional strongholds of Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, while an independent candidate is in the lead on Jeju Island.
[Election] [Minjoo] [Moon Jae-in]
[Special feature] Will Korea embrace political refugees from Thailand’s relentless military junta?
Posted on : Jun.7,2018 16:50 KST Modified on : Jun.7,2018 16:50 KST
Thai “Angel of Democracy” seeking asylum in Korea
At 6:30 am on Jan. 17, 2018, a plane arriving from Bangkok touched down on the runway at Incheon International Airport. Looking through the window, 25-year-old Chanoknan Ruamsap took in a city she was visiting for the first time in her life. When she stepped outside, each breath from her mouth raised a cloud of white mist in the air. It was unfamiliar and cold.
After exiting the airplane, she took her bag and rushed into the restroom. The only things inside the hastily packed bag were a few T-shirts, two pairs of blue jeans, a notebook computer, two books, a university diploma and an ID. There was also a page of information about travel in South Korea, which she had hurriedly printed out just before leaving Bangkok.
Chanoknan locked the stall door and took out the printed page. It contained information on Seoul’s famous cafes and restaurants, as well as Korean Wave stars and K-pop. In her mother tongue, she recited foreign names she had never heard before in her life. She desperately tried to cram the information in – her mind was racing, but she knew that if she could not memorize these things, she would be deported immediately.
She had seen a photograph showing people staying at an airport boarding gate after their refugee application was denied. They had looked like prisoners. If she were sent back home, the only place she could go was prison. Tears began to flow, and she gently tried to hold them back. She also might end up deported if the immigration officer saw her eyes swollen. She could not afford to let any tears show.
South Korean press takes steps to revive inter-Korean exchange
Posted on : Jun.6,2018 15:47 KST Modified on : Jun.6,2018 15:47 KST
Many news outlets requesting a bureau Pyongyang
Journalists in the press room of Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) watch a live broadcast of South Korean President Moon Jae-in heading to the Apr. 27 Inter-Korean Summit. (Yonhap News)
The South Korean press is taking active steps to revive exchange with North Korean media as the climate of reconciliation in inter-Korean relations gathers momentum.
Observers are calling for regular meetings and the assignment of local journalists as measures to prevent distorted and mistaken reporting on North Korea.
Yonhap News and KBS have led the way in promoting inter-Korean press interchange. In 2002, they established separate cooperation contracts with the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and Korean Central Television (KCTV) to engage in content exchange and co-production.
“Election Defection” of 12 N Korean Restaurant Workers: Challenge and an opportunity for Moon
By Tim Beal
Jun 6, 2018
On 7 April 2016, thirteen North Koreans arrived together in Seoul. According to the South Korean government, the group – a manager and 12 waitresses – had “escaped” from the North Korean Ryukyung restaurant in Ningbo, China and had voluntarily “fled to freedom.” South Korea’s Ministry of Unification spokesperson said that “the government ‘respected the defectors’ determination’ and decided to accept them all on a humanitarian level.”
Many suspected that government magnanimity was not the real story. Firstly, such a large group of North Koreans going en masse to the south was unprecedented. Moreover, despite the propaganda about North Korean workers being sent overseas as “slave labour,” such opportunities in fact are highly prized. As Andrei Lankov, no friend of the North Korean government, has pointed out, “A few years of hard work overseas is a dream destination for any North Korean worker, and competition for such jobs is stiff.” Working in a fancy restaurant in China must be high up the list. But what aroused the most suspicion about the South Korean government’s narrative was the timing of the so-called mass defection – five days before the National Assembly election. Was it an “election defection,” a present to Park Geun-hye’s ruling but struggling Saenuri Party, which was assiduously playing the traditional “North Wind” card and stoking up tension to bring in votes? In February 2016, President Park had closed the Kaesong Industrial Park, the last remaining inter-Korean project from the progressive administrations of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun.
Prosecutors begin probe into N. Korean restaurant workers' defection
SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors have started looking into allegations that a dozen North Korean restaurant workers were brought into the South against their will in 2016 in a political maneuver by the then-Park Geun-hye government, a lawyers group said Monday.
The Lawyers for a Democratic Society, better known as Minbyun, filed a complaint last month against former senior officials claiming they engineered the planned mass defection.
The group said the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office asked two of its members to appear for questioning next Monday.
North Korea should show sincerity toward denuclearization'
Posted : 2018-06-04 17:00
Updated : 2018-06-05 14:07
Kyungnam University President and former Unification Minister Park Jae Kyu / Courtesy of Kyungnam University
If convinced of regime security, Pyongyang needs to take dramatic steps at early stage
By Kim Bo-eun
Amid a positive mood over the upcoming summit between leaders of North Korea and the U.S., a North Korea expert said Pyongyang should exhibit its sincerity over giving up its nuclear program at the historic June 12 meeting in Singapore.
"The U.S. wants a resolute decision coming from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. If North Korea is convinced the U.S. will guarantee security of its regime, it should take some dramatic steps toward denuclearization early on as required by the U.S.," Park Jae Kyu, Kyungnam University president and former unification minister, told The Korea Times.
Two Koreas make progress, agree to talks on military, family reunions
The two Koreas agreed at a high-level meeting on Friday to hold talks this month on military issues and reunions of families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War, they said in a statement.
South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Ri Son Gwon during their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea, June 1, 2018. Yonhap via REUTERS
The meeting in the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea is the latest in a flurry of diplomatic activity intended to sustain a thaw in relations with the isolated North.
[SK NK Negotiations]
[Photo] High-level inter-Korean talks another step forward in implementing Panmunjeom Declaration
Posted on : Jun.1,2018 15:51 KST Modified on : Jun.1,2018 15:51 KST
During high-level inter-Korean talks on June 1 at Panmunjeom, government officials from both North and South Korea made a de facto agreement to establish a joint liaison office in the border city of Kaesong, where a joint industrial complex was operated until it was shut down during the Park Geun-hye administration in 2016. An official from the Unification Ministry also indicated that the two sides discussed measures for continued talks and cooperation in areas such as military, sports and Red Cross activity.
The above photo pictures Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland of the DPRK, stepping over the Military Demarcation Line (DML) into the South Korean side. (photo pool)
[SK NK Negotiations] [Panmunjom Declaration]
Two Koreas may celebrate June 15 declaration together
Posted : 2018-05-31 17:06
Updated : 2018-05-31 17:19
By Park Ji-won
The two Koreas may hold a joint event to commemorate the June 15 joint declaration between the two made in 2000 by the heads of both governments. Participation of the leaders and their unification chiefs is likely dependant on the outcome of the Kim-Trump summit on June 12.
According to media reports, the South Korean government is planning to make a suggestion to the North during a high-level meeting on June 1 that the two Koreas' unification chiefs, the South's Cho Myoung-gyon and North's Ri Sun-kwon, participate in the joint event on June 15. The two are planning to attend the high-level meeting.
[Joint Korea] [June 15] [Summit00]
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