ROK and Inter-Korean relations
GNP's reform panel is open to North
March 25, 2005 ? In a comprehensive package of
reform policy proposals released yesterday, a
select committee of the Grand National Party
said it would like to see barriers to contact
with North Korea relaxed.
The panel on reform of the conservative
opposition party, established last year by
Chairwoman Park Geun-hye, presented its interim
suggestions and urged that North Korean
broadcasts be aired in the South. Such
broadcasts are illegal under current law. The
committee said the measure would "restore the
homogeneity of the Korean people."
The proposals take the view the North Korea
nuclear issue is separate from inter-Korean
exchanges. The party's previous position was
that inter-Korean contacts could only be
encouraged if the nuclear standoff is resolved.
Addressing efforts by the governing Uri Party to
abolish the anti-communist National Security
Law, the committee called on party members' to
take a progressive attitude toward the issue.
North, South agree on copyright issues
March 25, 2005 ? In the future, South Korean
companies that want to broadcast or produce
records of popular North Korean songs such as "A
Whistle" will have to pay North Korea copyright
An official with the Inter-Korean Economic and
Cultural Association said yesterday that in
negotiations with the North Korean Copyrights
Office, the association had gained exclusive
rights to manage the copyrights on two North
Korean folksongs and three North Korean
publications. The association will receive
copyright fees and transfer those profits to
The North Korean Copyrights Office is expected
to give the association managerial rights to 276
North Korean songs and publications.
North Korea signed the Bern Convention, that
deals with intellectual property, in April 2003.
Diplomats grumble over Roh letter
March 25, 2005 ? Foreign Ministry officials
expressed unhappiness yesterday over President
Roh Moo-hyun's aggressive diplomatic initiative
that he started this week against Japan.
Seizing on the conflict between Seoul and Tokyo
over the Dokdo islands and alleged distortions
in Japanese history textbooks, the president
said Wednesday that Korea would press Japan to
atone for its actions during the time it ruled
Korea. Mr. Roh promised to be forceful, even if
it meant, as he said, a "diplomatic war."
The strong language appeared in a letter he
addressed to the public.
At the Foreign Ministry, officials complained
yesterday that Mr. Roh did not consult with them
before verbally attacking Japan.
GNP Hits Roh's Diplomacy on Japan
By Park Song-wu
The main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) on Thursday expressed concern
over President Roh Moo-hyun's declaration of ``diplomatic war'' on Japan,
saying a more ``refined'' approach is required.
``I cannot but wonder whether President
GNP Hits Roh's Amateur Diplomacy
By Park Song-wu
The main opposition Grand National Party (GNP)
on Thursday expressed concern over President Roh
Moo-hyun's declaration of ``diplomatic war'' on
Japan, saying a more ``refined'' approach is
``I cannot but wonder whether President Roh's
remarks are appropriate,'' Rep. Park Geun-hye,
chairwoman of the GNP, said during a meeting of
Park said even though she thinks Japan should be
criticized for its ``shameless'' attempts to
distort history, she considers it inappropriate
for the President to get embroiled in the
diplomatic fray, a party official told The Korea
Times. [SK-Japan relations]
Agency Starts Program for Handicapped in NK
By Moon Gwang-lip
A South Korean government agency responsible for providing employment assistance to the handicapped begins efforts Wednesday to promote the employment of physically challenged people of North Korea in preparation for reunification.
GNP Leader Wants NK Visit
By Jung Sung-ki
Rep. Park Geun-hye, chairwoman of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP), expressed her willingness to visit North Korea to seek a breakthrough in the prolonged nuclear standoff, hinting at her future role as a special envoy to Pyongyang.
In a speech at Columbia University in New York, the GNP leader said she wants to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to play a role of mediator between Washington and Pyongyang, the two key players in the six-party disarmament talks. Park is on an eight-day visit to the U.S.
Seoul Seeks UN Role for S-N Maritime Talks
By Na Jeong-ju
The government has requested a United Nations
maritime agency to mediate inter-Korean
dialogues for improving naval safety and
developing natural resources in the East and
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
(MMAF) said Friday that Minister Oh Keo-don made
the request when he met high-level officials of
the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a
UN agency specialized in enhancing safety in the
high seas and preventing pollution from ships.
Attempts of Traitors' Descendents to Retake
"Forefathers' Land" Slashed in S. Korea
Pyongyang, March 17 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for
the National Democratic Front of south Korea
issued a statement on Tuesday in denunciation of
the noisy campaign of descendents of pro-
Japanese traitors to retake their "forefathers'
land", according to the Kuguk Jonson Internet
site. The Korean nation had been subject to the
unbearable fate of colonial slavery for over 40
years, having lost the state power to the
Japanese imperialists owing to such pro-Japanese
traitors as Ri Wan Yong, Ri Kun Thaek and Song
Pyong Jun, the statement noted, and added: Those
traitors should have been punished by a stern
judgement of history after the August 15
liberation of the country.
Air Force to Get 2 Jet Fighters
The Air Force said yesterday that it will
receive two F-15Ks from Boeing Co. by October
under a deal to purchase dozens of such next-
generation jets from the U.S. aircraft maker.
Boeing is scheduled to deliver 38 more F-15Ks to
South Korea on a gradual basis by 2008 under the
$5.5-billion project, a spokesman of the Air
Freed aide has lunch with Kim Dae-jung
March 14, 2005 ? Park Jie-won, the chief of
staff to former President Kim Dae-jung who was
jailed for 17 months on bribery charges, met his
former boss for lunch yesterday after being
released on bail.
In 2003, Mr. Park was found guilty of taking
about 15 billion won ($15 million) in bribes
from the Hyundai Group, which was seeking
government help with its North Korean business
deals. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison
and fined 15 billion won.
Last November, the Supreme Court reversed Mr.
Park's conviction, but he remained in jail while
awaiting a new trial. Last Friday, the Seoul
High Court said he could be tried without
detention because of his poor health. Mr. Park
Former President Kim invited Mr. Park to his
home yesterday, where he consoled Mr. Park as
they had lunch together.
The 'New Right': How new is it?
March 14, 2005 ? In Korean domestic politics, a
so-called "New Right" movement is emerging,
taking many of its policymaking cues from
traditional conservatism while trying to shed
its stodgy, corrupt image.
South Korea's political camps have long been
divided by sharply contrasting views on
relations with the United States and North
Korea. Conservative groups have generally been
tough on North Korea (and pro-free market). Left-
leaning groups were somewhat sympathetic toward
the North and pushed reconciliation between the
Over the last several months, academics,
lawyers, educators and religious leaders have
formed groups with names such as the Liberty
Union, Constitutional Forum, New Right Think-
net, the Lawyers Group for Citizens and the
Textbook Forum. These groups ? composed of
academics and activists ? identify themselves as
the "New Right," which they say pursues new
conservative political ideologies. Foremost in
their values, they say, are free-market
principles and individual freedom.
They argue for the importance of a strong
relationship between the United States and South
Korea, and are concerned about North Korea's
human rights situation.
They criticize President Roh Moo-hyun's
administration, which they regard as too leftist
and unproductive, but also have disagreements
with some groups further to the right, which
they allege are corrupt and reactionary.
'Ex-Spymaster Murdered in Seoul'
NEW YORK (Yonhap) - Relatives of a former South
Korean intelligence agency chief who disappeared
in Paris in 1979 said they were told he was
brought back to South Korea and then murdered,
his daughter-in-law claimed Thursday.
``I heard from my husband that his father was
killed after being taken to South Korea,''
Jennifer Gyeong-ok Kim, 49, said. ``My mother-in-
law also believes this was the case.''
Kim, the eldest daughter-in-law of Kim Hyung-
wook, did not know who informed her husband of
the news. He passed away in 2002.
She said her late husband used to mention a man
named Lee, believed to be a former member of
staff at the South Korean Embassy in Paris, as
the one who handled the task.
Her claim supports a 1981 report by the Japanese
weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun that claimed the
diplomat abducted and anesthetized Kim before
loading him on a Korean Air cargo carrier bound
RS. on Movement for Tripartite Solidarity and
Three Forms of Cooperation
Pyongyang, March 9 (KCNA) -- A few days ago an
inaugural ceremony of the preparatory committee
for joint functions of Koreans in the north, the
south and abroad took place in Mt. Kumgang, a
picturesque mountain of Korea, to implement the
June 15 joint declaration and its first meeting
was held, at which an inaugural declaration and
a joint press release were adopted. The
preparatory committee is a permanent nationwide
solidarity organization of the reunification
movement which groups political parties,
organizations and public figures of all circles
in the north, the south and abroad, the first of
its kind ever since the division of the country.
Defectors Want to Continue Professions
By Park Song-wu
North Korean defectors, who had worked in the
North as teachers and medical doctors, demanded
Wednesday that the government should respect
their careers and allow them to practice their
professions in South Korea.
President Urged to Prepare for Inter-Korean Summit
By Shim Jae-yun
A noted scholar Tuesday called on President Roh Moo-hyun to prepare for
possible summit talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in the event the
ongoing six-party talks on the North's nuclear weapons program fail to make
He even cited the need to regularize the inter-Korean summit meeting as part of
efforts to further open the reclusive North.
``The second inter-Korean summit needs to take place at the earliest possible
date to help resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program
and various pending issues between the two Koreas,'' said Koh Yu-hwan,
professor at Dongkuk University.
For young defectors, education is a hurdle
March 09, 2005 ? Most young North Korean
defectors know that starting a new life in South
Korea won't be easy. But they often are not
aware that finding a suitable place to continue
their schooling can be a part of that struggle.
Ko Sun-young, 21, a defector who is now a South
Korean citizen, was cramming for the South
Korean high school qualification exam in the
winter of 2003 when she met Park Sang-young, a
teacher at Ddolbae School, an alternative
learning facility for defectors, who urged her
to stop going to her hagwon, or private
Northern skills have no value in South
March 09, 2005 ? While a tiny number of North
Korean defectors earn high-status jobs here,
others complain that professional skills learned
in the North go unrecognized in the South.
Huh Myung-hui, 27, became the first North Korean
woman to earn a license to practice medicine in
South Korea after graduating from Yonsei
University this year. Ms. Huh ? not her real
name, which she did not want to give to prevent
repercussions against relatives still in the
North ? did not want to be interviewed or her
picture to be taken.
But another North Korean defector recently
admitted to a South Korean oriental medicine
school said she wished more defectors could
continue to practice professions they formerly
held in the North. The South does not recognize
their qualifications or experiences.
Rodong Sinmun on Independent Reunification
Pyongyang, March 7 (KCNA) -- All the Koreans in
the north, the south and overseas should wage a
dynamic struggle against the U.S. domination,
interference and moves for a war of aggression
with the unshakable will to fight the U.S. The
independent reunification of the country can be
achieved only through the anti-U.S. struggle.
Rodong Sinmun Monday says this in a signed
article. The anti-U.S. struggle is to defend the
dignity and independence of the nation and it is
urgently required by the cause of national
reunification itself, the article says, and goes
The Korean nation is subject to the tragedy of
division and has not established its sovereignty
nationwide owing to the U.S. military occupation
of south Korea.
JCS to Hold Air Drill Tuesday
South Korean fighters, helicopters and
reconnaissance aircraft will take part in an air
drill today to prepare for a hypothetical North
Korean aerial invasion, the Joint Chiefs of
Staff (JCS) said yesterday.
The aerial exercise, the first of its kind this
year, will assist the military in preparation
for the possibility of enemy fighters
penetrating South Korean airspace, the JCS said
in a news release.
South Korea held similar air drills four times
Koreas Join Forces to Protect Tokto
By Ryu Jin
Civic leaders from South and North Korea agreed
on Saturday to jointly celebrate the fifth
anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit
in June 2000 and the 60th anniversary of the
Aug. 15 National Liberation from the 1910-45
Participants in a preparatory committee also
issued a special resolution condemning Japan's
recent moves to stake claim to Tokto, South
Korea's easternmost islets during their first
meeting at the North's scenic Mt. Kumgang March
Inter-Korea events set for June, August
March 07, 2005 ? In the first agreement of its
kind, non-governmental groups from both Koreas
said yesterday they would hold an anniversary
event to mark the inter-Korean summit of 2000 in
the North, and an Aug. 15 Liberation Day event
in the South.
The June 15 celebration will be held in
Pyeongyang to mark the fifth anniversary of the
summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
and then-President Kim Dae-jung of South Korea.
In August, the two Koreas will hold a joint
celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of
Korea's liberation from Japan's colonial rule,
the two sides agreed.
Delegates from the civic groups met for three
days from Thursday at the North's resort at
Mount Geumgang. The participants also adopted a
special resolution criticizing Japan's claims
over the Tokto islands.
Chosun Ilbo reporter excluded by North
March 04, 2005 ? With no explanation, North
Korea turned away a reporter from the Chosun
Ilbo who was scheduled to travel to Mount
Geumgang for an event commemorating the 2000
Three other reporters from Yonhap, Kyunghyang
and Maekyung TV made a trip to the resort,
accompanying the 180 people who will attend the
S. Korean Supreme Court's Unjust Judgment Flayed
Pyongyang, March 2 (KCNA) -- The supreme court
of south Korea recently sentenced Kim Chong Il,
former co-executive chairman of the All-People
Committee for Measures against the Murder of the
Two Schoolgirls, to one year and six months in
prison with a two-year stay of execution for the
mere reason that he led a candlelight rally to
remember those schoolgirls who were mercilessly
killed by a U.S. armored car.
Family Suffers Hardship Helping NK Refugees
By Lee Jin-woo
The life of Kim Bong-soon has completely changed since her husband was arrested
for attempting to help North Koreans escape from China's Shandong Province.
Her husband, Choi Young-hun, 42, was arrested on Jan. 17, 2003 for trying to
aid about 80 North Koreans depart from the port of Yantai. He was sentenced to
five years in prison.
Panel for S-N Summit Celebrations Due
The two Koreas will launch a joint preparatory committee for celebrations to
mark the fifth anniversary of the inter-Korean summit in June 2000, officials
The panel is to hold its inaugural ceremony on Friday on Mt. Kumgang in North
Korea, Unification Ministry officials said.
North wants apology for accidental gunshot
March 02, 2005 ? The Joint Chiefs of Staff said
yesterday an accidental firing of a gun into
North Korea occurred Monday on the eastern
border, leading to a protest from Pyeongyang.
"At 7:16 p.m., Feb. 28, a gun shot was fired by
a soldier in Yanggu, Gyeonggi province. The shot
was an accident that occurred during rifle
maintenance work," an officer at the Joint
Chiefs of Staff said yesterday.
The officer said the unit notified the North of
the misfire immediately over a loud speaker, but
at the time received no response.
[Photo]"Liberate North Korea
Conservative groups rallied in commemoration of
March 1 in front of Seoul City Hall and chanted
"Liberate North Korea."
S. Korean Army Accused of Opening Fire at North
Pyongyang, March 1 (KCNA) -- South Korean army
fired a machine gun at a post of the north side
in the area near the Military Demarcation Line
(MDL) on Feb. 28, according to military sources.
At around 19: 50 that day south Korean soldiers
at a MP post near Marker No. 0916 of the MDL in
the eastern sector of the front fired two large-
calibre machine gun bullets toward the north
This posed a grave threat to the lives of
soldiers of the Korean People's Army who were on
their routine sentry duty.
The gun-fire, timing to coincide with the
incessant infiltration of warships into the
waters of the north side in the West Sea of
Korea, escalating military tension, goes to
clearly prove that the south Korean military
authorities are deliberately scheming to
aggravate the inter-Korean relations, pursuant
to the U.S. imperialists' vicious hostile policy
toward the DPRK.
First Unified Korean Dictionary To Be Compiled
North and South Korean Linguists to Promote
S. Korean Military Warned against Anti-north
Pyongyang, February 28 (KCNA) -- The Navy
Command of the Korean People's Army issued a
press release Monday to accuse the south Korean
army of its continued military provocations in
the West Sea of Korea. Its full text says:
Recently the south Korean army infiltrated its
warships into the waters of the north side in
the West Sea of Korea without letup.
On Feb. 27 and 28 following Feb. 24 the south
Korean military authorities again infiltrated
warships several times into the waters of our
side south of Kuwol Hill and Sunwi Islet, thus
escalating military tension there.
The south Korean army's undisguised military
provocation in the West Sea, which is timing to
coincide with the U.S. imperialists' frenzied
war moves against the north to stifle it by
force under the pretext of the nuclear issue on
the Korean Peninsula, is an intolerable
challenge to us and a traitorous act.
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