ROK and Inter-Korean relations
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The 2007 Inter-Korean Summit and Its Implications for Northeast Asia
By Su-hoon Lee and Dean J. Ouellette
December 4th, 2007
Su-hoon Lee, Chairman of the South Korean Presidential Committee on Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative, and Professor at Kyungnam University, and Dean J. Ouellette, a researcher with the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, Korea and assistant editor of Asian Perspective, write, “Much is already being done on both sides to implement the comprehensive and concrete steps agreed to at the 2007 October summit… All this will help overcome the South-North division on the Korean peninsula and lay a foundation for a broader regional integration in Northeast Asia. Dismantlement of the cold-war structure in this part of the world is much over due. Building the bridges to overcome the past and help the region construct its future cooperatively must be supported with genuine and tangible efforts. With time, progress is made inevitably.”
N.Korea Names Delegation on Eve of Talks
North Korean Vice Premier Jon Sung-hun will lead a delegation to the first meeting of a joint committee for inter-Korean economic cooperation at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul from Tuesday to Thursday. The vice prime minister visits the South only three days after the departure of another top North Korean official -- Kim Yang-gon, director of the United Front Department of the North's ruling Workers' Party.
Deputy Premiers of Koreas to Begin Talks Today
By Jung Sung-ki
Deputy prime ministers of South and North Korea will begin three-day talks here today to discuss details of new cross-border economic cooperation programs agreed upon at the inter-Korean summit in October, the Ministry of Unification said.
During the summit between President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on Oct. 2-4 in Pyongyang, a range of agreements on new South Korean-backed economic projects were proposed.
Regular cross-border cargo railway service and the construction of an inter-Korean business zone near the disputed western waters were among key accords.
Now is the time to launch the North Korean Development and Cooperation Organization
October 30, 2007 / Issue No. 26
A month has passed by since the 2007 Inter-Korean summit ended. Many are voicing positive views about the Inter-Korean summit and the October 4th Joint Statement. The rosy mood is supported not only by a recent survey showing the 75 percent support for the summit result but also by the fact that the Inter-Korean summit has taken place amid thawing mood between North Korea and the U.S. and amid a denuclearization process that has greatly accelerated in recent months. In particular, the October 4th Joint Statement has made great progress on peace and economic cooperation, although it just touched on the social, cultural and humanitarian issues. Nevertheless, the inclusion of these humanitarian issues into the joint statement holds a significant meaning and raises the need to take specific steps to realize the agreed proposals.
Inter-Korean Fever at Election Time
Kim Yang-gon, the director of the United Front Department of the North Korea's Workers' Party, who is in charge of South Korean affairs, has wrapped up his visit to South Korea. South Korean "affairs" actually means intelligence operations. Such activities are divided into departments handling clandestine activities such as the bombing of a Korean Air passenger jet, and non-clandestine operations such as psychological propaganda and managing pro-North Korean organizations in the South. Since the 1990s, the United Front Department has reportedly doubled the number of its staff to 3,000 in order to use the South’s Sunshine Policy of rapprochement to Pyongyang’s benefit. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il values the department highly and appointed the late Kim Yong-sun and Im Dong-ok, former directors of the department, as his closest confidantes.
Sports Marketing Going From Strength to Strength
Already Chelsea FC’s football aces all bear the logo "Samsung Mobile" on their chests, but in August next year, Samsung Electronics plans to change that to just "Samsung" to maximize brand recognition for all its electronics products.
That means Samsung Electronics will also shoulder the sponsorship fee that had so far been the responsibility of its mobile division, which supports the club with W20 billion annually (US$1=W922). "Samsung seems to have made the decision to make full use of Chelsea’s brand power because the team is showing a strong performance befitting its premier reputation," an IT industry insider explains.
N.Korea Claims 12 Miles of Territorial Waters
North Korea is said to have stressed its claim to 12 miles of territorial waters when the defense ministers of the two Koreas met in Pyongyang on Nov. 27-29. The 12-mile rule is a customary rule of international law but in this case would extend North Korea's territorial waters near Yeonpyeong Island far south of the Northern Limit Line, which has functioned as the de facto sea border in the West Sea.
A South Korean official on Sunday said North Korea demanded recognition of its 12-mile territorial waters and linked the claim with a proposed joint fishing zone. The South Korean delegation in the talks pointed out that if the coast of a country is adjacent to an island belonging to another country, then under international law the median line between the two, not the 12-mile rule, applies. The NLL, as the actual median line, is therefore legally effective, the South Koreans argued. The dispute suggests establishing the joint fishing zone will be an uphill struggle.
N.Korean Deputy PM Headed for Seoul
A North Korean deputy prime minister handling economic affairs will visit Seoul for the first meeting of a joint committee for inter-Korean economic cooperation. The meeting is to focus on follow-up to October’s inter-Korean summit during its three-day run at the Grand Hilton Hotel from Tuesday to Thursday and comes three days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s top aide Kim Yang-gon, the director of the United Front Department of the North's ruling Workers' Party, left the South Korean capital.
The joint committee is an upgraded version of the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee, which was led by deputy ministers and has held 13 rounds of meetings since the first inter-Korean summit in 2000.
Unearthing War’s Horrors Years Later in South Korea
By CHOE SANG-HUN
Published: December 3, 2007
SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 2 — Shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, Kim Man-sik, a military police sergeant, received an urgent radio message from the South Korean Army’s Counterintelligence Corps: Go to local police stations, take custody of scores of Communist suspects held there and execute them.
The South Korea Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Prisoners before their execution by troops in Taejon in 1950. The state is aiming for compensation or services for the victims.
Mr. Kim complied. What he did and saw in those days is etched permanently in his mind.
[Korean War events]
Visit by North’s top spy still clouded in mystery
December 03, 2007
There were no agreements. No tangible results. So why did the head of the North’s spy agency, Kim Yang-gon, pay a visit? It’s still a mystery.
Still, the diplomatic frenzy by senior officials here suggests that Seoul sees Kim’s visit here as a signal to Washington that North Korea is sincere about denuclearizing and normalizing ties.
"You think of Kim’s position in the North, and you think of the timing of his visit," said a government official here, speaking on condition of anonymity. "North Korean officials do not venture outside the North that much, especially not in a capacity that is highly publicized. It’s a message that the North is serious about denuclearizing."
Roh Moo Hyun Meets Kim Yang Gon
Pyongyang, December 1 (KCNA) -- Roh Moo Hyun, President of south Korea, met Kim Yang Gon, department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, on a visit to Seoul at Chongwadae on Nov. 30.
Present there from the south side were Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok and Chief for Unification, Diplomatic and Security Policies of Chongwadae Paek Jong Chon.
Kim Yang Gon conveyed the regards from General Secretary Kim Jong Il to the president.
The president expressed deep thanks for this and asked Kim Yang Gon to convey his sincere greetings to Kim Jong Il, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK.
Views were exchanged to implement the October 4 north-south declaration.
Key aide of N. Korean leader to wraps up rare visit to Seoul
A senior North Korean official in charge of inter-Korean relations and intelligence was to end his rare trip to South Korea later Saturday and return home via the heavily fortified border dividing the Koreas, Seoul officials said.
Before his departure, Kim Yang-gon, a close confidant of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, will hold talks with a group of former and incumbent South Korean officials who in 2000 accompanied then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung on his trip to Pyongyang for talks with the North Korean leader, the officials said.
Don't Even Think About Touching the NLL
Defense ministerial talks between North and South Korea in Pyongyang ended with a seven-point agreement calling for security guarantees for inter-Korean economic projects, the establishment of a joint military committee to explore ways of reducing tensions and building mutual trust, a pledge to use peaceful solutions to conflicts and to hold the next round of defense ministerial talks in Seoul in March. The issue of redrawing the Northern Limit Line (NLL), which was the most worrisome, was not included in the agreement. The two sides agreed to further discuss differences that emerged in terms of the location and criteria of a joint fishing zone the two Koreas have discussed forming in the West Sea.
As South Koreans expected, Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo protected the NLL. It is fortunate that Kim was not pressured by President Roh Moo-hyun’s previous comments that the NLL is not a territorial border, that it is just a line that was drawn unilaterally and that there would be no problem in redrawing the maritime border.
Defense Ministers End Talks Without Agreement on NLL
The defense ministers of the two Koreas on Thursday ended three days of talks by agreeing to form a joint military committee to discuss drawing a nonaggression sea border and building mutual trust. But the two sides failed to agree on the most contentious point, the establishment of a joint fishing zone in the area of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea border in the West Sea. Instead, they agreed that generals from both sides will discuss the matter.
Koreas fail to strike deal on joint fishing area
Defense chiefs of the two Koreas failed Thursday to agree on a joint fishing area around the disputed western sea border, as the North insisted on drawing the zone further south of the de-facto maritime border, according to South Korean delegates here.
Kim Jong-il’s close aide visits Seoul
Kim Yang-gon’s visit aimed at implementation of summit agreements and facilitating economic cooperation
North Korea’s senior official overseeing inter-Korean relations started a three-day trip to South Korea on Thursday to discuss implementation of rapprochement measures agreed upon at a recent summit between the two countries.
Kim Yang-gon, 69, director of the United Front Department of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, arrived in Seoul on November 29. Kim’s visit was made at the request of the South’s Unification Minister Lee Jae-jeong on November 28. Kim is considered to be one of Kim Jong-il’s closest confidants. He was the only North Korean official who participated in the October 2-4 summit between President Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang.
Second North-South Defence Minister-Level Talks Open
Pyongyang, November 27 (KCNA) -- The Second North-South Defence Minister-Level Talks were opened here Tuesday.
Present at the talks were the delegation of the north side headed by Kim Il Chol, minister of the People's Armed Forces, and the delegation of the south side with Minister of National Defence Kim Jang Su as chief delegate.
The talks discussed the military measures to implement the "Declaration for Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity".
The head of the north side's delegation said that it is important to have a correct understanding of the issue of the country's peace, first of all, in order to thoroughly implement the historic October 4 declaration. He went on:
Second North-South Defence Minister-Level Talks Close
Pyongyang, November 29 (KCNA) -- The Second North-South Defence Minister-Level Talks closed Thursday.
At the talks both sides earnestly discussed military measures to implement the "Declaration for Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity".
According to the agreement adopted at the talks, both sides decided to take military measures to put an end to the military hostile relations, ensure detente and peace, prevent a war and sincerely honor their commitments to non-aggression.
They also agreed to take practical measures to prevent clashes in the West Sea and ensure peace and cooperate with each other in the military field to put an end to the present ceasefire system and build a lasting peace mechanism.
They decided to take measures to provide a military guarantee for north-south cooperation and exchange.
N. Korean Spy Chief’s Visit Spawns Speculation
Kim Yang-gon, director of the United Front Department of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, gets into a car after entering Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday. Kim is the head of the North’s intelligence agency.
/ Korea Times Photo
by Cho Young-ho
By Jung Sung-ki
The North Korean spy chief's visit to Seoul Thursday has sparked off a flurry of speculations among analysts about a possible ulterior motive of the rare visit.
However, the presidential office said his visit was aimed at reviewing the implementation of inter-Korean accords signed between the leaders of the two Koreas last month. A presidential spokesman said Kim is to make a courtesy call on President Roh Moo-hyun Friday afternoon.
Some political pundits raised the suspicion that the visit by Kim Yang-gon, 69, director of the United Front Department of the North's ruling Workers' Party, aims to help South Korea's liberal camp win the upcoming presidential election by creating a mood of inter-Korean reconciliation.
Koreas Planning Seoul Visit of Pyongyang's No. 2 Leader
The two Koreas are reportedly pushing for a South Korean visit of North Korea's No. 2 leader Kim Yong-nam after the South's presidential election on Dec. 19 to further deepen discussions on bilateral economic cooperation, a government source said Friday.
Kim, who holds the post of chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, has been serving as North Korea's titular head of state on behalf of the North's reclusive leader Kim Jong-il.
"Koreas are now exchanging views on the visit of Kim Yong-nam to South Korea between the end of the presidential election and the inauguration of the next government on Feb. 25. If his visit is realized, January seems the most likely timing," said the source.
"While in Seoul, Kim Yong-nam will be able to meet both President Roh Moo-hyun and his successor, seeking to confirm Seoul's commitment to the inter-Korean summit agreements."
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