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Press Briefings

Regular Briefing by Spokesperson Koo Byoungsam

Ministry of Unification

2024-03-25

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Date: Monday, March 25, 2024
Time: 10:30-10:36 A.M.

 

1. Minister’s Schedule

On March 25, Unification Minister Kim Yung Ho is sitting down for a meeting with the U.S. Congressional Study Group on Korea from 10 A.M.

At 2 P.M., Minister Kim will attend a talk concert on stories about North Korea at Ewha Womans University.

On March 26, at 10 A.M., Minister Kim will attend the cabinet meeting.

At 2 P.M., Minister Kim will visit Yeoncheon Elementary School as a one-day unification teacher.

On March 27, at 7:30 A.M., Minister Kim will attend the 3rd Wednesday Forum.

At 10 A.M., Minister Kim will sit down for a meeting with organizations and families of abductees, detainees, and POWs of the Korean War.

At 11:30 A.M., Minister Kim will deliver a special lecture at a forum arranged by alumni of the Seoul National University’s Department of Political Science and International Relations.

On March 28, at 9 A.M., Minister Kim will pay a courtesy visit to Pastor Lee Jae-hoon of Onnuri Church.

On March 30, at 2 P.M., Minister Kim will see a play with Hanawon trainees at the Inter-Korean Cultural Integration Center.

 

2. Q&A

Q) Kim Jong Un inspected the 105th Tank Division yesterday. Kim specifically mentioned this division when guiding the tankmen’s training match on March 13. What is the Unification Ministry’s analysis of the North’s intention behind yesterday’s inspection?

A) The Ministry of Unification will not evaluate the intention of president Kim Jong Un’s inspection of military units.

Q) North Korean media reported on dissolving the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea. What is the Unification Ministry’s position regarding this issue?

Furthermore, North Korea continues to dissolve organizations that have worked with the South after Kim Jong Un defined inter-Korean relations as hostile and belligerent. If such moves were to continue, what organizations remain that could be further disbanded?

A) Dissolving the North’s Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea appears to be a follow-up measure to efforts in getting rid of remnants of unification. After the Party Central Committee held late last year, the North has dismantled organizations with relations to the South. I will not make predictions about possible future actions by the North.

Q) There has been a report suggesting that a bill will be proposed to integrate regional Hana Centers under the operation of the Korea Hana Foundation. I understand that the North Korean defector society has conflicting views toward this issue. Will the bill be proposed after sufficient discussion? What is its current procedural status?

A) The Government continues its efforts to improve the settlement support system for North Korean defectors. To provide the utmost support for regional settlement, the Ministry is reviewing ways to efficiently operate Hana Centers by consulting with related organizations and collecting the opinions of North Korean defectors.

Q) Last year, on March 25, former Unification Minister Kwon Youngse mentioned operating a consultative body with Japan to discuss the issue of abductees. How is this working out?

Also, Minister Kim Yung Ho claimed in an interview with Japanese media that the Ministry will share information about abductees that is collected through interviews with North Korean defectors. How are such discussions going?

A) With regards to the consultative body, the ROK and Japan are cooperating at the working-level. We will keep you informed on further developments.

Regarding the collection of information through North Korean defectors, please refer to the interview as the Minister has explained how this will proceed.

Q) North Korea’s exchange with China, though not as strong as Russia, continues steadily. How does the Ministry interpret this situation?

A) As North Korea and China have designated this year as the year of DPRK-China friendship, marking the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, various exchanges are expected to take place. However, I would like to reiterate that all exchanges with North Korea should assist in building peace on the Korean Peninsula while complying with the UN Security Council resolutions.

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