ROK and Inter-Korean relations
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Military talks about railroad are expected next month
April 28, 2007 The two Koreas will likely hold military talks early next month to discuss a test of the restored inter-Korean railways, Lee Jae-joung, South Korea's unification minister, said yesterday.
Green Doctors Open Hospital at Kaesong
By Lee Jin-woo
A humanitarian aid group of South Korean medical doctors Thursday held an opening ceremony of a hospital in the inter-Korean Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea, the Ministry of Unification said.
Medical doctors from the two Koreas will work together at the hospital just north of the heavily fortified inter-Korean border, according to Green Doctors, which is in charge of running the medical center.
Grand Nationals suffer at the polls
With defeat, chairman says he will seek resignations
April 26, 2007
In an election seen as a gauge of the conservative Grand National Party's standing with voters, yesterday's by-election was turning into bad news for the opposition party ahead of the December presidential elections.
The turnout for various positions was very low, with only 27.7 percent of the 2.7 million eligible voters nationwide casting ballots. Only in South Jeolla's combined Muan-Sinan counties' constituency was there a sizeable turnout of about 50 percent, a sign of the area's traditional enthusiasm for politics.
As counting passed the midpoint in Muan-Sinan last night, Kim Hong-up of the Democratic Party was building a sizeable lead over the Grand National's Kang Seong-man, for a National Assembly seat. Kim is the second son of former president Kim Dae-jung.
North Korea Visits Reek of Hypocrisy
The ruling camp lawmakers are lining up to visit North Korea. Uri Party lawmaker Kim Hyuk-kyu will go there early next month, accompanied by fellow lawmakers Bae Ki-sun, Lee Kwang-jae, Kim Jong-yull, Lee Hwa-young and business leaders. Early next month, former Gyeonggi Province governor Sohn Hak-kyu will attend a peace forum in North Korea jointly hosted by his own thinktank, the East Asia Future Foundation, and the North's Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation.
Early last month, former prime minister Lee Hae-chan visited North Korea, saying there was a need for a "comprehensive exchange of opinions" regarding diplomatic circumstances in Northeast Asia. At about the same time, Uri Party leader Chung Sye-kyun and 20 other Uri lawmakers, including former head Chung Dong-young, visited the North.
These officials say they discussed economic issues or held discussions or spoke about the Kaesong Industrial Complex during their visits to North Korea. But it's obvious that their visits to North Korea were really aimed at scoring points for their party in upcoming presidential elections in South Korea. The lawmakers heading North are either presidential hopefuls or their confidantes.
The days are long gone when politicians could actually burnish their image by visiting North Korea. After watching this show a countless number of times, the South Korean public knows full well the true purpose of those visits. Visits to North Korea by South Korean politicians are outdated gestures that can no longer offer any benefits.
Another South Korean Delegation to Visit Pyongyang
Following former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan's visit to North Korea in early March, another South Korean delegation will visit Pyongyang early next month.
The delegation that will be led by Uri Party lawmaker Kim Hyuk-kyu will stop by the Gaeseong Industrial Park before arriving in Pyongyang.
South Korean man tries unsuccessfully to head North 4 times
Trying to flee life of economic hardship in South, man now faces charges
A 43-year-old South Korean man was arrested for trying to smuggle himself into North Korea on four occasions.
According to prosecutors, the accused, only identified by the surname Lee, ended his mandatory military service in 1987 and then graduated from a theological college. Lee set up two churches in 1991 and 1992 in Seoul and Goyang of Gyeonggi Province, but they both went under.
After divorcing in 1998, Lee had periodically worked as a driver for taxi and small commuter bus companies. In 2003, Lee settled in Gimpo, which is close to the North Korean border. Amid continued economic difficulties, Lee felt bitter against capitalism and longed to travel to North Korea, prosecutors say.
In April 2005, Lee traveled to China to try to enter into North Korea. At the North Korea-China border near Baekdu Mountain, he attempted to cross through the mountaneous region but failed due to a one-meter-high snowfall. Then, Lee attempted to cross the Apnok (Yalu) River at another location along the North Korea-China border, but he was detected by Chinese border guards and expelled to South Korea. Finally, in September last year, Lee went again to China and eventually sneaked into North Korea. However, North Korea did not welcome his unexpected visit. Lee begged the North Korean authorities to let him stay there, saying, "I feel comfortable here. Since this is my homeland, please let me stay here," prosecuters reported. But North Korean officials sent him back to China.
[Refugee reception] [Human rights] [Double standards]
North Korea Wants It in Writing
Surprise N.Korean Demands Delay Cross-Border Talks
Economic cooperation talks between the two Koreas, set to open on Thursday, began seven hours later than scheduled. That was because North Korea suddenly demanded the text of keynote speech prior to the meeting. This is not only odd behavior, but very rude as well. On Thursday morning, the North also demanded to see a draft of a written agreement on the South's provision of rice aid, as well as a draft of the joint press statement to be issued at the end of the four-day talks. When South Korea refused, the North had then insisted it see at least the keynote speech text. The talks opened after the North Koreans were shown the keynote speech.
Surprise N.Korean Demands Delay Cross-Border Talks
North Korea Wants It in Writing
Inter-Korean economic cooperation talks snagged Thursday on North Korea's demand for a draft agreement on South Korea's provision of rice aid before negotiations began. The talks opened seven-and-a-half hours late at 5:30 p.m. The ongoing talks are the first in 10 months.
The 8th Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks
(April 10~13, 2007)
The 8 th Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks was held at Mt. Geumgang from April 10 to 13, 2007 and adopted six agreements as follows:
Holding video reunion on the Independence Day of Korea and Chuseok day (Korean Harvest Festival). (40 families from each side)
Holding the 16 th Reunion of Separated Families on Chuseok Day this year. (100 families from each side)
Exchanging the video letters on CDs between separated families on a trial basis on Chuseok Day.
Twenty families from each side who had met each other before.
Promoting the cooperative projects for exchanging the video letters as soon as possible.
As a part of the separated families' issue, cooperating and addressing the issue regarding those who have been missing during or after the Korean War.
Promoting the project of modernizing the North Korean Red Cross general hospital by stages.
Holding the 9 th Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks at the Mt. Geumgang in late October.
Vice-Minister Shin Outlined the BDA Issue and the 8th Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks, etc.
Name : uni4101
Date : 2007-04-06
Vice-Minister Shin Outlined the BDA Issue and the 8th Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks, etc.
Regular Briefing by the Vice-Minister of Unification (April 5, 2007)
Vice-Minister of Unification Shin Eonsang gave a regular briefing on April 5 and outlined the BDA issue, the 8th Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks, the conclusion of KORUS FTA, and the trend of the inter-Korean trade during the first quarter.
Shin Eonsang, Vice-minister of Unification
Current Status and Outlook of the BDA Issue
Vice-Minister Shin said the BDA issue was being delayed because of some technical problem regarding remittance. However, as the six nations have strong will to implement the February 13 agreement, it would be possible to advance the implementation of the agreement, based on the efforts by each nation, Vice-Minister Shin said.
The Inter-Korean Trade Volume during the First Quarter Increased by 40 percent.
Vice-Minister Shin said the inter-Korean trade volume during the first quarter recorded 260.94 million dollars, rose by 40percent than the same period of the previous year.
He also said this increasing trend would be maintained during the second quarter thanks to the recovery of the inter-Korean relations. The increase would be affected by the rise of domestic demand for North Korean steel and mineral products, increase in the number of enterprises operated in Gaeseong, and public and private aid toward the North, he said.
[BDA] [Dilemma] [Trade]
Rice and rail link on agenda for Pyongyang talks
April 18, 2007 With still no sign from the North that it has taken possession of its funds previously frozen at a Macao-based bank, which had been a major stumbling block in the North Korean nuclear negotiations, Seoul is planning to hold inter-Korean talks on economic cooperation today in Pyongyang, the Unification Ministry said yesterday.
S.Korea Court Sentences Group for Spying for North
Published: April 16, 2007
Filed at 3:06 a.m. ET
SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean court sentenced a Korean-American on Monday to nine years in prison for spying for communist North Korea in the largest espionage case since the two Koreas began political reconciliation in 2000.
The Seoul District Court also handed prison terms of four to six years to four South Koreans, including members of the leftist Democratic Labour Party, for violating the country's draconian anti-communist National Security Law.
Prosecutors said Korean-American Michael Jang, who is suspected of first making contact with North Korean agents in 1998, was the group's ring leader.
Jang acted on Pyongyang's orders to stir up anti-U.S. sentiment during a visit by President George W. Bush to South Korea in 2005, they said.
[Human rights] [Espionage] [National Security Law]
GNP Hopefuls 'Would Join Hands With Kim Dae-jung'
Grand National Party presidential hopefuls Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye have said they could join hands with the progressive former president Kim Dae-jung and the Democratic Party. The two leading conservative contenders gave the response to the Policy and Leadership Forum, a group of academics who, in cooperation with the Chosun Ilbo, are evaluating presidential aspirants until the election at the end of the year.
Grand National lawmaker calls for soft line toward North
Joint Korean Gaeseong complex part of establishing peace on Korean peninsula, he says
"Gaeseong Industrial Complex in North Korea will make a significant contribution to settling South-North peace by establishing an inter-Korean economic community. We need to make efforts to facilitate it."
Rep. Hong Joon-pyo of the main opposition Grand National Party, chairman of the National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee, on April 13 visited the joint Korean Gaeseong (Kaesong) complex, located just north of the border separating the two countries. He led a group of committee members, including Ahn Hong-joon and other four lawmakers of the GNP and Dan Byung-ho of the minor Democratic Labor Party (DLP). It is a rare case that five members of the conservative opposition GNP visited Gaeseong at one time.
North Korea Remains Stubborn on POW Issue
North and South Korea failed to make progress on the issue of South Korean prisoners of war and abductees on the last day of the eighth inter-Korean Red Cross talks at Mount Gumgang on Thursday.
The two Koreas agreed to hold two video and two face-to-face reunions of separated families, and to exchange video letters between cross-border families on a trial basis.
South Korea initially proposed dealing with the POW and abductees issue separately from the separated families. However, the North insisted on sticking to the current method of unofficially allowing families of POWs and abductees to meet with their long-lost relatives as part of the separated family reunions. Furthermore, the North threatened to boycott the talks because of the South's use of the words "POWs and abductees."
Ahn won't be punished for secret North contact
April 12, 2007 The Unification Ministry said it won't prosecute Ahn Hee-jung for not reporting his secret contact with a North Korean official last October because the president knew about it.
"We questioned him several times on the phone, and Ahn explained for himself the circumstances of the contact and why he did not report it to the government," said a Unification Ministry official who declined to be named.
President Roh Moo-hyun admitted on Tuesday that he told Ahn to make the contact and strongly defended it as a part of his "presidential duties."
Park Geun-hye Explains Unification Blueprint
Grand National Party presidential aspirant Park Geun-hye told foreign correspondents of her three-phase blueprint for Korean unification on Monday. Park said hasty political and territorial unification will simply cause confusion and huge financial cost. Instead, the former GNP chairwoman proposed that national unification be achieved via, first, resolution of inter-Korean military confrontation and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula, to economic unification and, finally, political unification. North Korea's abandonment of its nuclear programs is a precondition to unification, she said.
Park stressed the importance of South Korea and the U.S. speaking in one voice on the North Korean nuclear program after Pyongyang agreed to disable its nuclear programs in a Feb. 13 agreement reached in six-party nuclear talks in Beijing.
Park also called for a "new security declaration" between Seoul and Washington to consolidate the bilateral alliance. She said the two countries should "go beyond security and defense cooperation" and pursue an "economic and value alliance" which "proliferates free democracy, human rights protection and the rule of law in the 21st century."
Koreas to hold Red Cross talks over POWs, family reunions
Red Cross officials of South and North Korea will meet Tuesday to discuss the repatriation of South Koreans forcibly taken to the North and to arrange reunions of separated families, officials said Monday.
The three-day talks at the North's scenic Mount Geumgang are to take place as a result of last month's inter-Korean cabinet-level talks, in which the sides agreed to discuss via the Red Cross the whereabouts of South Korean prisoners of war and abductees held in the North, as well as the reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 war.
Gov't must start confessing all past wrongs
The government is considering issuing an apology to the victims of the "People's Revolutionary Party Reconstruction Committee Affair." The minister of justice said, "Having the state disclose what it did wrong and apologize would allow the reestablishment of the damaged moral standing and confidence of state authority." That could be the first step to an official apology by the state and the complete restoration of honor for those who have suffered wrongdoing.
Seoul Slips in Arms Race
By Jung Sung-ki
South Korea is growing alarmed at the escalating arms race between China and Japan.
Both countries are aggressively developing military programs that could add to regional instability caused by North Korea's nuclear threats.
Boosted by its rapid economic development, China has been making billion-dollar increases in defense spending each year for the past decade, modernizing its armed forces with high-tech weapons systems.
Beijing earmarked about $45 billion for its defense budget this year, up 17.8 percent from that of the previous year, with a large part of the increase set aside for arms procurement.
Some international military watchers speculate, however, that the actual scope of China's defense spending is three times higher than announced.
For Japan, with some of the largest defense procurement programs in Northeast Asia, North Korea's stunning missile and nuclear tests last year gave it a ``good reason'' to implement its own full-fledged weapons acquisition program, experts say.
[Military balance] [Disinformation] [Threat] [Japanese remilitarisation]
NK Defectors Seek Political Clout
By Lee Jin-woo
Some 21 groups of North Korean defectors in Seoul are set to form an alliance to strengthen their political influence ahead of the Dec. 19 presidential election.
The groups represent over 10,000 people who have come to South Korea, often after years of hardships as refugees.
North Korea Becoming Bigger Threat: South Candidate
Published: April 9, 2007
Filed at 3:24 a.m. ET
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea is becoming more of a threat to the region by dragging out the process of dismantling its nuclear weapons program, one of the front-runners to be South Korea's next president said on Monday.
Park Geun-hye, daughter of the country's longest serving president, said Seoul's aid to the North is getting in the way of disarmament.
She cited the additional threat of Pyongyang's development of chemical and biological weapons.[cbw][media]
Cash delivered to North for video reunions
April 07, 2007 South Korea hand-delivered $400,000 in cash to North Korea yesterday for Pyongyang's purchase of video communication equipment. The North will spend the money to buy computers and display screens to reunite families separated for more than a half century by the demilitarized zones through video conference calls.
Two South Korean Red Cross officials boarded a cargo ship in Incheon for Nampo of North Korea Thursday morning. They carried a suitcase containing 40 bundles of one hundred, $100-dollar bills. The ship arrived in North Korea yesterday morning.
According to Red Cross officials, the cash was handed over to their North Korean counterparts at the port. "We told the North Koreans to inform us of the specific spending of the money," an official was quoted as saying, adding that he received a receipt from the North Koreans for the cash.
The two Koreas' Red Cross societies agreed last year that the South will fund the equipment for high-tech reunions and the promise was reaffirmed in March. South Korea was unable to provide equipment directly to the North because of U.S. regulations banning the export of dual-use goods to the North. Under the U.S. export administration regulations, strategic goods that include more than 10 percent of U.S.-made components or technology are banned for export to state sponsors of terrorism.
[Sanctions] [Financial sanctions]
DJ suggests a four-nation summit on peace regime
April 07, 2007 Former President Kim Dae-jung yesterday suggested a four-way summit meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas, the United States and China to help ease tension and build a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
In a lecture at Chonbuk National University, Kim sounded optimistic on inter-Korean relations, saying, "This year, a solution seems to be on the horizon for the North Korean nuclear issue, which is a long-held desire for the Korean Peninsula."
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, renowned for his "sunshine" policy toward North Korea following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, expressed confidence in the North's commitment to its disarmament agreement.
4-Way Summit Expected to Resolve North Korea Issue
By Yoon Won-sup
Former President Kim Dae-jung said yesterday that the security situation in Northeast Asia requires a summit involving the two Koreas, the United States and China to conclude a peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula.
``We need to organize a summit of South and North Korea, the United States and China which, I expect, will declare the end of the Korean War and sign a peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula,'' Kim said during a lecture at Chonbuk National University in Chonju, North Cholla Province.
Forbidden Mount Bukak to be Reopened to Public
Gyeongbok Palace, the Gwanghwamun crossroads and a view of the Han River to the south will once again be available to ordinary citizens.
The 4.3-km Chosun-era fortress wall located on Mount Bukak behind the Cheong Wa Dae presidential offices will be open to the public for the first time in 40 years. The area has been closed since North Korean commandos crossed the mountain in attempt to attack the Cheong Wa Dae in 1968.
The fortress wall will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. everyday except Mondays to 100 people per hour. Two and a half hours will be permitted for sightseeing. Reservations may be made through the website www.ocp.go.kr or www.fpcp.or.kr.
The people need to ask for truth regarding civilian massacres
The Korean War was the first war in history in which overwhelmingly more civilians died than soldiers. It was enough to think military forces worked harder at liquidating unarmed civilians than they did their enemies. Massacres were sometimes called "operations" and sometimes called "executions." At least one million are known to have died this way, and one claim says more than two million died, if you include revenge killings and those who died in U.S. bombings.
Those are all guesses, however, only rough estimates based on testimony from victims or their neighbors. The reason we have until now known close to nothing of the truth of these tragic massacres of fellow countrymen at the hands of the government is simple: those who ordered or gave consent to the killing and their political offspring have always been in power. The government that was formed after the April 19 Revolution in 1960 attempted to look into the atrocities, but the military government that emerged with the May 16 coup in 1961 halted that process. It quieted the families of those who sought the truth about their loved ones by defining any attempt to ascertain the truth as a pro-North, leftist activity. Yi Won-sik would be one example; he found himself sentenced to death after trying desperately to figure out why his wife was killed in one of the early massacres.
The road ahead, therefore, is going to be a long one. If the offspring of the military dictatorships that have so fervently opposed the truth win the next government, there is no knowing what will become of this effort.
[Korean War events] [Human rights]
In sign of thaw, strategic mountain reopens
April 06, 2007
Once used by a North Korean assassination team, Seoul's Mount Bukak opened to the public yesterday for the first time in four decades. [YONHAP]
A mountain once used as an infiltration route by North Korean commandoes on an assassination mission was opened to the public yesterday for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Mount Bukak, one of four landmark mountains that surround inner Seoul, overlooks the Blue House, and for that reason it was used by a team dispatched from the North to try and kill then-President Park Chung Hee in 1968. The attempt failed when the commandoes were stopped within 500 meters (1,640 feet) of the presidential residence. The attack led Mount Bukak to be heavily guarded by gun emplacements for years and put what was once a popular destination for hikers off limits.
Joint tree planting
Students from North and South Korea walk on Mt. Kumgang to plant pine seedlings during an Arbor Day tree-planting event by the two countries' Red Cross Youth organized by the Korea Land Corporation, Thursday.
[Photo] [Joint Korean]
Minister Lee Outlines the Inter-Korean Relations during the First Quarter
Regular Briefing by the Minister of Unification (March 29, 2007)
Minister of Unification Lee Jae-joung gave a regular briefing on March 29 and outlined the inter-Korean relations during the first quarter. During the briefing, the minister touched on various joint events and projects agreed between the two Koreas, including the 5th video reunion of separated families, Mt.Geumgang tourism, and cooperation on development of North Korea's light industries and natural resources.
Minister Lee said the process of resolving nuclear issues is progressing smoothly as the first meeting of five working groups was completed and the first phase of the initial actions for implementing the February 13 agreement are being taken.
Minister Lee also evaluated recent inter-Korean relations very stable, saying that several exchanges and cooperation projects are coming along very well despite of the on-going US-ROK joint military exercise. In the past, the joint military exercise had an adverse effect on the relations between the North and the South.
[Joint US military] [Dissension]
Pyongyang fills a long-vacant post
April 05, 2007 As relations between the two Koreas warm, North Korea filled a key post that had been empty since August with a veteran diplomat, intelligence sources in Seoul said yesterday.
Kim Yang-gon is now director of the unification front of the Worker's Party, a position roughly equivalent to South Korea's unification minister.
First inter-Korean college to open
April 05, 2007 South and North Korea will open their first joint college later this year, officials said yesterday.
The Pyongyang Science and Technology College is scheduled to open in the North's capital on Sept. 10. It will initially house 150 graduate students, offering such courses as a master's of business administration.
"We had originally planned to open it in April, but strained inter-Korean ties delayed the project. The favorable environment will make the project go smoothly this time," said Lim Wan-geun, a director of the Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture.
Kim Jin-kyong, dean of the Yanbian Science and Technology College, will be the first dean of the inter-Korean college, Lim said.
The college will consist of a five-story building for lectures, a four-story building for a library, dining and research facilities and five dormitory buildings.
`Korean Unification Unlikely While Kim Jong-il Is in Power'
Korean reunification is unlikely while Pyongyang's current leader Kim Jong-il is still in power, a more likely scenario being South and North Korea engaged in a prolonged period of a confederation-type arrangement, the Yonhap News Agency quoted a U.S. historian as saying Tuesday.
Bruce Cumings, a history professor at the University of Chicago, also argued that it is unwise to seek agreements with North Korea based on trust, and that any accord with the Stalinist regime should depend on verification.
Assembly Passes Bill for Repatriation of NK Abductees
The National Assembly yesterday passed a bill to bring South Koreans kidnapped by North Korea back to the South and to compensate the victims and their families.
It is the first legislation calling people held against their will in the North, "abductees," said officials at the Assembly's secretariat.
Koreans Get New Addresses Based on House Numbers
Korea will introduce a new address system based on street numbers and building numbers from Thursday. The system, which is the standard in many other parts of the world, will replace the exiting classification based on areas and sub-divisions in different areas. Accordingly, the address for Seoul Station will be changed from "122-28, 2-ga, Bongrae-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul" to "1 Euijoo-ro, Joong-gu, Seoul."
Introduced during the Japanese colonial era, the current system has been criticized for failing to exactly locate buildings amid rapid urbanization. For more details on the new addresses, visit www.juso.go.kr.
N.Korea Develops High-Speed Military Hovercraft
The North Korean Navy has reportedly developed and deployed high-speed military hovercraft. A military source in Seoul said Sunday the North developed the hovercraft with its own technology apparently to target South Korean high-speed patrol boats. The North Korean vessels are 38 m long and 12 m wide with a top speed of 90 km/h. They have 56 mm and 30 mm machine guns at the head and the stern.
South Korean military authorities say they have intelligence that Pyongyang is attempting to export the boats to other Asian countries. North Korea also has 130 hovercraft landing vessels to transport personnel which move at a speed of 50 km/h with 50 people aboard. They are able to ride up the beach and move over mud flats, the South Korean military believes.
South, North see thaw in relations
Separated family reunions restart; food, aid shipments resume
With relations between the two Koreas showing signs of improvement since a denuclearization deal was struck at the six-party talks on February 13, bilateral economic cooperation is also gaining momentum, spurred by the resumption of separated-family reunions and shipments of food and other humanitarian aid to the impoverished country.
GNP's Touted "Adjustment of Policy toward North" Ridiculed
Pyongyang, March 27 (KCNA) -- The Grand National Party of south Korea is now talking about "flexible policy toward the north" and "contacts and visits and participation in cooperation undertakings", trumpeting about the "adjustment of policy toward the north". A spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA Tuesday in this regard:
The GNP has so far zealously kicked up confrontation with the DPRK. Yet, it has made a U turn in its attitude, talking about "the adjustment of its policy toward the north". But this is nothing but a last-ditch effort of those forsaken by the era and the nation and a chicanery to cover up their black-hearted intention
S. Korean Authorities Urged to Retract Action Taken to Disconnect Internet Sites
Pyongyang, March 31 (KCNA) -- The recent action taken by the south Korean authorities to disconnect Internet sites was a fascist action against democracy and human rights as it was aimed to blindfold the south Koreans and stop their ears and deprive them of even their right to enjoy the high civilization in the IT era and an act of treachery running counter to the basic spirit of the June 15 joint declaration. They should, therefore, retract the action at once.
[Human rights] [Double standards]
N. Korea Deploys Air Cushion Warships
By Jung Sung-ki
North Korea has deployed high-speed air cushion warships in its Navy to counter the South Korean Navy's high-speed patrol boats and vessels, the Yonhap News Agency reported yesterday.
Kyung Hee to Open International Campus
Kyunghee University will set up an international environment at its Suwon campus, the school announced yesterday.
Under the plan, the school will change the name of its Suwon campus to ``International Campus'' and will accommodate 2,400 new students in its dormitories from 2008.
South Korea blocks more Pyongyang websites
By Anna Fifield in Seoul
Published: March 27 2007
03:00 | Last updated: March 27 2007 03:00
South Korea said yesterday it would block 32 websites that it deems too sympathetic to North Korea as part of a crackdown intended to protect South Koreans from communist influences.
"These sites should be blocked because they admire Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il and they give false information on North Korea," said a spokesman for the Korea Internet Safety Commission, the Seoul agency that reviews "unhealthy" sites. "Aren't these the obvious reasons to be blocked?"
The blocked sites include the North's state-run Korea Central News Agency and the homepages of Kim Il-sung University and a North Korean bank. They bring the total number of sites blocked by South Korean authorities to 73.
[Human rights] [Double standards] [media]
North Korea Proposed Talks on Summit in 2006
By Lee Jin-woo
North Korea last year disclosed its willingness to discuss ways to hold a summit with South Korea, while asking Seoul to send a special envoy to Pyongyang, reports said.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, a reporter with a South Korean weekly magazine, who helped Ahn Hee-jung, then President Roh Moo-hyun's right-hand man, meet North Korean Councilor Lee Ho-nam in Beijing on Oct. 20 last year, has informed Chong Wa Dae that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is willing to discuss the summit issue if President Roh Moo-hyun sends a special envoy to Pyongyang.
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