ROK and Inter-Korean relations
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Desperate effort launched to save North Korean
April 29, 2006 ? A 43-year-old political prisoner in North Korea is expected to be executed this weekend, and human rights groups in Seoul and around the world are trying to save the man's life.
In Seoul, 23 South Korean human rights groups yesterday submitted a petition to the National Human Rights Commission. They are seeking its assistance to stop the execution of Son Jeong-nam, who is being detained in Pyongyang by the North Korean State Security Department, said his younger brother, Jeong-hun, who defected to the South in 2002.
Son Jeong-hun said at a news conference earlier this month that North Korean authorities announced that his brother will be publicly executed for "betraying the nation."
The brothers met each other in China in 2004. After Son Jeong-nam returned to the North, he was arrested and accused of providing information about rights abuses by the North Korean regime to his South Korean brother.
Visit to Kaesong highlights Uri's election strategy
April 29, 2006 ? Uri Party Chairman Chung Dong-young and leaders of the governing party yesterday visited the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea in a bid to garner votes in next month's local elections.
Analysts in Seoul say that the visit reflects the ruling party's strategy, of bringing the issue of inter-Korean relations to the forefront of the campaign. The visit came at a time when the main contenders for office from each major political party have emerged.
A recent agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang for former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung to make a much-anticipated second visit to the North is expected to serve as a cornerstone of the inter-Korean cooperation strategy.
For the governing party, the move is designed to get the support of voters in their 20s and 30s who are considered progressive, but also people in their 40s who are supporters of the Grand National Party. [SK attitude NK]
Rodong Sinmun Censures Theory of "Multiracial Society"
Pyongyang, April 27 (KCNA) -- A strange farce to hamstring the essential characters of the Korean nation and seek for "multiracial society" is now being held in south Korea. In this regard Rodong Sinmun today runs a signed commentary, which censures the farce as an unpardonable bid to negate the homogeneity of the nation, make south Korea multiracial and Americanize it. To deny the peculiarity and advantages of the homogeneous nation now that dominationism and colonialism are posing a threat to the destiny of weak nations is a treacherous act of weakening the spirit of the nation, the commentary says, and goes on: The south Korean pro-American traitorous forces advocating the theory of "multiracial society" are riffraffs who have not an iota of national soul, to say nothing of the elementary understanding of the view on the nation and social and historic development.
If the homogeneity of the nation is not kept, the nation and the destiny of individuals cannot be defended from the U.S. dominationist moves and the attempt of the Japanese reactionaries for invasion of Korea, which is revealed in their claim to Tok Islet, cannot be checked.
4 abductees are still alive in the North
April 28, 2006 ? Four South Koreans abducted to North Korea in the late 1970s, at about the same time that Kim Yong-nam was seized, are still alive in the North, the head of the National Intelligence Service told the National Assembly yesterday.
Mr. Kim, a teenager at the time, later married a Japanese abductee, Megumi Yokota, in North Korea. Japan's efforts to account for its abducted nationals thrust Mr. Kim's name into the spotlight here.
The four men are Lee Min-gyo, Choi Seung-min, Lee Myeong-u and Hong Geon-pyo, all of whom disappeared in 1977 and 1978 while swimming at beaches in South Jeolla province. They ranged in age from 16 to 18 when they were abducted.
Korea Moves to Open Higher Education Market
By Chung Ah-young
University student representatives hold a rally to protest an education market opening near the government complex in central Seoul, Monday. South Korea is expected to include the partial opening of its education market for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. / Korea Times
South Korea faces a bumpy road in upcoming talks with the United States for the opening of the education market amid an on-going debate over how to protect public education and enhance educational competitiveness.
Partial opening of the education market is expected to be included in the proposed Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The U.S. will likely call for the Korean government to open its education market wider including graduate schools, pre-schools and kindergartens.
Security tightened around sea border
Military and maritime police have beefed up patrols around the western sea border to crack down on North Korean and Chinese fishing boats that violate South Korean territory during the crab-fishing season that ends in June.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff also ordered Navy and Air Force units to strengthen security measures in preparation of possible contingencies with North Korean forces around the western Northern Limit Line, a maritime border between the two Koreas, sources said.
The NLL is a well-known flashpoint and the two navies clashed in violent skirmishes in 1999 and 2002 resulting in a number of deaths on both sides.
North Korea has persistently resisted recognizing the NLL, citing the South's unilateral declaration of the limit line.
[NLL][Role of ROK military]
Lee used Kim Il Sung's own words
April 27, 2006 ? One month before he died, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung said that using the railroad leading to the South to transport Chinese products could earn the North $400 million per year, according to an official biography.
South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok used those words to pressure the North Korean delegation during inter-Korean talks, telling them it was one of the dying leader's last requests, said a government official.
"The remarks by the minister made the North's delegation speechless," the official said.
Mr. Lee pressured his North Korean counterpart, Kwon Ho-ung, North Korea's senior cabinet counselor, to produce a concrete date for the reopening of the railroad and a test drive.
However, the North made no concrete concessions about the railroad.
Mr. Lee also told the North Koreans that the issue of Kim Yong-nam, a South Korean who was kidnapped in 1978, has now become a matter of concern.
The Japanese have investigated the kidnappings, because Mr. Kim later married a Japanese woman also believed to have been abducted by North Korea. The couple's daughter lives in North Korea.
Mr. Kwon replied that relevant government bodies were currently investigating the case, a remark that seemed to acknowledge that Kim Yong-nam does exist.
A government official said yesterday that during four hours of direct talks between Mr. Lee and Mr. Kwon, topics were brought up by the South that could have agitated the North. He was not any more specific.
South Side's Delegation to Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks Leaves
Pyongyang, April 24 (KCNA) -- A south side's delegation with Minister of Unification Ri Jong Sok as its chief delegate left Pyongyang today after participating in the 18th inter-Korean ministerial talks. The head of the north side's delegation to the talks hosted a reception for the south side's delegation at Pyongyang Koryo Hotel Sunday evening.
The south side's delegation inspected the e-library of Kim Chaek University of Technology on the sidelines of the talks.
A Second Trip to Pyongyang by Kim Dae-joong
In inter-Korean relations, the Kim Dae-jung administration consistently stuck to the "sunshine policy" and giving away handouts. Having set exchanges with North Korea and a meeting with Kim Jong-il as his primary political goal, Kim Dae-jung devoted all his energy to their realization as soon as he assumed power. He achieved the June 15, 2000 inter-Korean summit and earned the Nobel Peace Prize but plunged the country into conflict.
Back-door deal with N.K. denied
Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok yesterday categorically denied there was any deal between the South and North Korean governments to facilitate former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's wish to visit Pyongyang.
"I would stake my job as unification minister to say that (the South Korean government) did not offer any financial payoff to the North or make any back-door deal," Lee told a radio program yesterday.
During a four-day ministerial-level meeting that ended Monday, Lee and his North Korean counterpart agreed in principle to allow Kim's second trip to the communist country sometime in June, six years after the momentous inter-Korean summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
The conservative opposition Grand National Party expressed some concerns, linking the agreement to the North's request that the South supply it with half a million tons of rice and 300,000 tons of fertilizer.
"We cannot but be reminded of the $500 million that was paid to the North to facilitate the 2000 South-North summit," said GNP chief policymaker Rep. Lee Bang-ho.
Kim Dae-jung begins planning reprise trip North
April 26, 2006 ? Lee Jong-seok, the unification minister and leader of Seoul's delegation to inter-Korean ministerial talks earlier this week, visited former president Kim Dae-jung last night and briefed him on the outcome of those talks. Late the previous evening, Mr. Lee announced that Pyongyang had accepted in principle a visit to North Korea by the former president in June.
Look north, Kim Dae-jung
The nation's reaction is divided over former President Kim Dae-jung's plan to visit North Korea in June.
Some hail the plan as a way to "promote peace inside the Korean Peninsula," while others express worries, saying it will "widen the divisions among South Koreans."
It is a good thing for a former president to try to solve the nation's difficult issues. We hope that his visit to the North will start us down the road to resolving impending issues between the two Koreas without stirring conflict in the South.
There are several things, however, that we need to consider. First is that he should try not to have a "serious discussion" on ways to achieving reunification.
Joint Press Release on 18th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks Published
Pyongyang, April 24 (KCNA) -- The 18th north-south ministerial talks were held here from April 21 to 24. At the talks both sides issued a joint press release after discussing practical issues arising in settling fundamental issues related to the political, military and economic relations between the north and the south and agreeing on them. At the talks both sides agreed on the following points after appreciating the successes made since the publication of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and deciding to make positive efforts to put the inter-Korean ties on a higher stage in line with the idea of "By our nation itself":
North Korea agrees to talks on abductees
April 25, 2006 ? Seoul appears to have dented at last Pyongyang's stonewalling refusal to discuss the fate of Korean War-era prisoners in North Korea and South Koreans kidnapped after the war to train North Korean spies.
A communique issued at the end of an inter-Korean ministerial meeting in Pyongyang said the two countries would "cooperate in trying to resolve realistically the issue of persons missing during the Korean War and after the war."
Although tentative, the statement represents real progress, an official in Seoul asserted, noting that North Korea in the past has refused to discuss the matters with Seoul. Pyongyang has not admitted to kidnapping any South Korean civilians and asserted that any South Koreans who stayed in the North after the war had done so of their own free will.
The communique was silent on North Korea's request for additional massive amounts of rice and fertilizer, donations that public opinion here has forced Seoul to link with the fate of prisoners and abductees. Before leaving for Pyongyang on Friday, Lee Jong-seok, Seoul's unification minister, said he was prepared to offer more aid if the abductees were returned.
Expectations Run High on DJ's NK Visit
By Seo Dong-shin
Hopes are running high in Seoul that former President Kim Dae-jung's visit to North Korea would bring about a number of significant developments for the stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear programs as well as inter-Korean affairs.
After returning from the inter-Korean Cabinet talks that ended in Pyongyang Monday, Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok is now considering paying a visit to the former president in a day or two to explain the background and discuss a possible agenda for Kim to carry to the North, a ministry official said Tuesday.
``We expect Kim's visit to North Korea will have positive effects on South-North relations,'' Yang Chang-seok, the ministry's spokesman said, adding ``The government will continue to actively support his visit.''
Kim Dae-jung to Visit NK in June
Joint Press Corps & Seo Dong-shin
PYONGYANG _ North Korea has accepted former President Kim Dae-jung's planned visit to Pyongyang in June, the South's unification minister indicated on Monday.
The North basically shared the South's view on Kim's planned visit, the minister, Lee Jong-seok, told reporters after the end of the 18th inter-Korean Cabinet talks.
In Pyongyang, no progress is made in official efforts to return captives
April 24, 2006 ? Delegates from Seoul and Pyongyang seemed far apart on the second day of inter-Korean ministerial talks in the North Korean capital yesterday. The main stumbling blocks were Seoul's demand for the return of prisoners of war and South Koreans abducted to the North after the war and joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
The talks began on Saturday; Lee Jong-seok, the minister of unification, left for Pyongyang on Friday on a direct flight from Incheon.
Seoul has laid down a marker for these talks, telling domestic groups campaigning for the return of prisoners and abductees that it would make additional aid for North Korea conditional on progress in getting them back. Mr. Lee said in his opening address at the talks on Saturday that if North Korea took "bold action" on the issue, "we will make corresponding decisions for cooperation."
A senior Seoul official at the talks said its delegation had also offered to return 30 "unconverted" long-term political prisoners here back to the North in exchange. The official said that the talks also focused on Kim Yong-nam, a South Korean who was kidnapped in 1978 and has been one of the centers of a Japanese investigation into kidnappings by the North of its nationals. Mr. Kim, the Japanese say based on DNA tests, was the father of a child whose mother, Megumi Yokoda, was also abducted.
Seoul also offered to jointly develop magnesite mines in Danchon, in North Korea's northwest, and to mine gravel from the western estuary of the Han River in the Demilitarized Zone.
Kwon Ho-ung, the North's chief delegate, appealed to Seoul to allow tourists from both countries freer access to the other. He also threatened to end all cooperation with Seoul unless the South ended its joint military drills with U.S. troops.
[Joint US military]
South Side's Delegation to North-South Ministerial Talks Arrives Here
Pyongyang, April 21 (KCNA) -- A south side's delegation with Minister of Unification Ri Jong Sok as its chief delegate arrived in Pyongyang Friday to participate in the 18th north-south ministerial talks. It was greeted at the airport by delegates of the north side to the talks. Premier of the Cabinet Pak Pong Ju hosted a reception in honor of the delegation at the Mansudae Art Theatre in the evening.
Abductee Issue Linked to Return of Ex-NK Spies
Joint Press Corps & Seo Dong-shin
PYONGYANG, North Korea ? Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok on Sunday proposed to North Korea the South would allow former long-term prisoners with communist beliefs remaining in the South to go to North Korea if Pyongyang agrees to discuss repatriation of South Korean prisoners of war and abductees still held in the North.
The Joint Press Statement of the 18th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks (April 24,2006)
The Joint Press Statement of the 18th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks
The 18th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks were held in Pyongyang from April 21 to 24, 2006.
The South and the North, evaluating accomplishments made since the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Declaration, agreed to make proactive efforts to advance inter-Korean relations to a higher level in line with the spirit of dealing with issues solely between the Korean people, and agreed as follows:
1. The South and the North agreed to take practical measures to recognize and respect each other's ideologies and systems in line with the basic spirit of the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Declaration so as to promote national reconciliation and trust.
2. The South and the North shared a common understanding that they should take practical measures in order to ease military tension and secure peace on the Korean peninsula, and agreed to work together for the implementation of those issues.
3. The South and the North agreed to continue their endeavors for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and actively cooperate with each other to implement the September 19 Joint Statement at an earliest possible date for the peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue in conformity with national benefits and co-safety.
4. The South and the North agreed to make efforts for the national unity, and conduct a national event in a meaningful way through the participation of their government-level delegations to the Grand National Festival for Unification which will take place in a South Korean area in commemoration of the 6th anniversary of the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Declaration.
5. The South and the North agreed to carry out cooperation in an economic field which can significantly contribute to national co-prosperity.
Both sides, under the firm understanding of recognizing inter-Korean economic cooperation as an internal cooperative project within one nation, as well as a project for co-prosperity, agreed to take practical measures for the active facilitation of investments and cooperation in terms of regions, economic sectors and scale in a mutually benefiting way.
In this regard, both sides agreed to hold the 12th Meeting of the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee in this May in order to discuss issues of extracting construction materials at the estuary of the Han River and jointly developing national resources, and consult over issues such as the operation of trains on a trial basis, the opening of railways and roads, the construction of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, as well as the cooperation for the development of light industries and underground resources.
6. The South and the North agreed to work together to actually resolve issues of those whose whereabouts and fates have been unknown during and after the Korean War.
7. The South and the North agreed to promote cooperative projects in such various fields as the prevention of natural disasters, health care, and the preservation of cultural assets.
8. The South and the North agreed to hold the 19th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks in Busan from July 11 to 14, 2006.
April 24, 2006,
Explanatory Material on the Result of the 18th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks
on the Results of the 18th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks
The 18th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks were held in Pyongyang from April 21 to 24, 2006. Throughout the Talks, the South and the North held two plenary sessions and several contacts between head delegates as well as between delegates.
The South and the North consulted on the future advancement of inter-Korean relations as well as their pending issues.
NK Confirms Accord on 'Missing' S. Koreans
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ North Korea's state news agency on Friday confirmed Pyongyang's agreement in the just ended inter-Korean talks to resolve the issue of South Korean prisoners of war and abductees held in the country.
"According to the agreement, the North and South agreed to...work toward discussing and resolving the issue of separated families and relatives, including the issue of people missing from during and after the (Korean) war," the North's Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report from Pyongyang.
Inter-Korean Military Talks
Six-Party Nuclear Dialogue Ought to Resume Quickly
At long last, inter-Korean general-level military talks will resume next Thursday at Tongilgak, North Korea's pavilion in the truce village of Panmunjom, nearly two years after their standstill. The major topic of the two-day talks will be how to prevent naval clashes at the sea border between the two sides, especially in the West Sea. The talks, held at the request of the North, will also tackle the issue of establishing an area of joint fishing in the West Sea.
In addition, the meeting is expected to deal with how to guarantee the safe passage of participants in inter-Korean negotiations who use cross-border railways and roads, as already proposed by the South in a letter to the North. The safe passage is drawing concerns because former President Kim Dae-jung hopes to use an inter-Korean railway to visit the North in June.
'Kim Dae-jung's NK Visit Likely to Be Individual'
By Lee Jin-woo
Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan said Wednesday former President Kim Dae-jung's planned visit to North Korea will be made as an individual trip rather than a special envoy of President Roh Moo-hyun.
On the first day of a five-day interpellation at the National Assembly, Lee said the government has not considered whether Kim would carry a special message from President Roh during his visit to the North.
Koreas to Hold Military Talks on March 2-3
By Jung Sung-ki
Military generals from South and North Korea will meet next week for the first time in nearly two years to discuss ways to avoid accidental armed clashes along the maritime border, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
The talks, the third of its kind, will be on March 2-3 at Tongil-gak, a pavilion on the northern side of the truce village of Panmunjom, the ministry said in a statement
Kim Dae-jung Delays NK Visit till June
By Seo Dong-shin
Former President Kim Dae-jung has decided to postpone his trip to North Korea, which was originally planned for late April, until June, an aide to Kim said on Monday.
The decision came apparently as a result of claims from the largest opposition Grand National Party (GNP) that the trip could influence the local elections on May 31. The conservative GNP has argued that Kim's much-touted visit to Pyongyang could be ``abused to serve the ruling camp's political campaigning'' ahead of the elections.
``We appreciate that a majority of people, as well as the ruling and opposition parties, have been highly supportive of Kim's planned visit to the North,'' Choi Kyong-hwan, a press secretary to Kim, said in a statement.
Roh mourns victims of 1947 uprising
In Jeju, he calls for more work to clear history
April 04, 2006
President Roh at the memorial service in Jeju yesterday. [YONHAP]
President Roh Moo-hyun paid a symbolic visit to Jeju, Korea's southern island province, yesterday to attend a memorial ceremony for residents there killed in government military and paramilitary operations to root out a communist insurgency.
The trip was part of his campaign to correct what he considers distortions of Korea's history both at the hands of the Japanese colonial government and the strongman regimes that followed independence in 1945.
"Be it proud or shameful, history must be cleared up and settled," Mr. Roh said. "In particular, the wrongdoings committed by the state must certainly be revealed."
He was addressing a crowd of 10,000 people who gathered for the ceremony, including family members of some of those killed.
The "April 3 Jeju incident," as it is known here, was an uprising on the island that began on that date in 1947 and was not suppressed until 1954. President Syngman Rhee, Korea's first president, had the support of the U.S. occupation forces in his decision to establish a Korean administration in the southern half of the peninsula after efforts to reunify the country broke down.
Truth Commission Reinvestigates Military Deaths
By Jung Sung-ki
A presidential fact-finding panel has launched an investigation into a 1984 shooting rampage at a frontline unit in Kangwon Province that left 26 casualties, a committee spokesperson said Monday.
The investigation is part of the presidential committee's one-year inquiry into 11 suspicious cases, Choi Eun-a, an official at the committee's public affairs office, said in a press briefing.
218 Textbooks of 10 Countries Have False Facts About Korea
By Chung Ah-young
School textbooks in 10 countries were found to have contained false or distorted facts about South Korea.
The Academy of Korean Studies reported Monday that most of foreign textbooks have labeled Dokdo, South Korea's easternmost islets in the East Sea as Takeshima and the East Sea as the Sea of Japan.
The academy reviewed 218 textbooks used in secondary schools from 10 countries _ China, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, France, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Chile.
Politicians Abuse Musical on NK Gulag
By Park Chung-a
By all counts, Jung Sung-san, director of the musical ``Yodok Story,'' should be a happy man.
A former North Korean defector once sentenced to 13 years in a North Korean gulag is seeing huge success for his musical depicting the horrors of a North Korean camp. But, speaking by phone on Sunday, Jung, 36, expressed regret over the use of his work in domestic political wrangling, rather than getting attention for its value as an art piece.
``I think my musical is being used excessively for political purposes by certain groups and seen from a political perspective rather then getting deemed recognition for its artistic side,'' Jung told The Korea Times. ``This is a pure Korean musical, created and made by (an) all Korean staff amid an influx of western musicals. I hope the media as well as audiences will give more attention to its value as an art piece rather than focusing on making political rhetoric.''
The musical ``Yodok Story'' is set in one of the most notorious of dictator Kim Jong-Il's gulags, which houses an estimated 20,000 prisoners, including many jailed for what North Korea considers political crimes. Jung and the show's choreographer were once prisoners of a vast gulag.
Notably, the musical has been touted by conservative newspapers such as the Chosun Ilbo and the Dong-A Ilbo and the largest opposition Grand National Party (GNP) known for their hostile attitude and critical view of North Korean government. [Defector reports]
Acid Rain Pollutes Korea
Experts Call for Cooperation Among Asian Nations
By Kim Cheong-won
North-East Asia including the Korean Peninsula could be the most damaged area from acid rain in the 21st century, a researcher warned.
Jeong Hoi-sung, a researcher at the Korea Environment Institute, claimed during a seminar held at Mt. Kumgang, North Korea's resort mountain, that urgent measures are needed to reduce the damage from acid rain.
According to Jeong, the Korean Peninsula could be the most damaged area from acid rain because of its geographical position in the region.
``The amount of pollutants is increasing because of industrialization of countries in the region such as China, Japan and the two Koreas. Also, the amount of pollutants which cross the borders are increasing,'' he insisted.
It is reported that the environmental problems of North Korea show a similar trend to that of South Korea's in the 70s which is called ``production pollution.'' Production pollution usually refers to contamination caused by factories' mass production. As a result, this industrial waste causes water and air pollution.
North Korea's forests, which make up 80 percent of its territory, decreased 23 percent between 1970 and 1997. Experts attribute the reason to the excessive cutting of trees for firewood.
To prevent possible damage, the researcher insisted that the two Koreas should come up with various counter measures in the areas of tourism, industrial complex development, and urban development.
``The two Koreas should carry out more environmentally friendly economic cooperation. The first priority could be to support North Korea's forestation project and energy-related projects by using the South's capital and technology,'' the researcher said.
New liquor brand sets sales records
March 31, 2006 ? Korean liquor maker Doosan Liquor BG has set a record for sales of a new brand of soju, helping double the company's market share, industry sources said yesterday.
As of Wednesday, Doosan had sold 30 million bottles, or 1 million boxes, of the new brand Cheoumcheorum, which means "like the first time" in Korean.
The record was set in 51 days after the launch of the new brand in February, beating the 91 days set by market leader Chamjinisulro, from Jinro Ltd.
Soju is a traditional Korean distilled liquor with an alcohol content of 21 percent to 25 percent, compared to 4 percent to 5 percent for beer.
However, Doosan has reduced the alcohol content to 20 percent for Cheoumcheorum in an effort to attract more drinkers, especially women.
14 % of Marriages International in 2005
By Yoon Ja-young
International marriages are surging, with both individuals and local governments striving to get Jack his Jill.
There were 43,121 international marriages between Koreans and non-Koreans in 2005, up 21.6 percent from a year earlier. This means fourteen out of 100 couples that tied knot in year 2005 were international couples, according to the National Statistical Office (NSO).
The rise reflects provincial governments' efforts to import brides. For instance, Namhae County and Hamyang County, both in South Kyongsang Province, passed an act to support old bachelors to marry foreign brides.
International marriage was especially popular in rural areas, with one out of three Korean men engaged in agriculture and fishery bringing in their brides from overseas last year. It has increased by 8.5 percent from the year 2004.
Scholar Calls for 3-Nation Talks
By Jung Sung-ki
A South Korean scholar Thursday proposed that tripartite arms control talks involving the two Koreas and the United States be established to lay the foundation for the permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Professor Han Yong-sup of the Korean National Defense University described it as an essential step toward the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas.
Seoul Proposes Resuming S-N Cabinet Talks
By Lee Jin-woo
The government has asked North Korea to resume the delayed inter-Korean ministerial talks around April 20, the Ministry of Unification said Thursday.
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