South Korea announces plans to normalize ties with North Korea amid tensions

South Korea announced plans to reunify with North Korea on Friday. This includes efforts to provide North Korea with humanitarian aid, seeking to revive stalled denuclearization talks amid mounting tensions between the two rivals.

Ministry of Unification announced report He outlined to President Yoon Suk-yeol his plans and outlook for 2023, outlining seven major policy goals aimed at improving inter-Korean relations.

Through its alliance with the United States, it aims to strengthen South Korea’s defense posture against North Korean provocations and to pursue efforts to create an environment conducive to dialogue.

South Korea said it would attempt “direct and indirect contact” with North Korea through civic groups and international groups as part of its efforts to normalize relations with North Korea.

The ministry has pledged to address human rights violations and problems caused by the division of South Korea, such as families separated by the division and the detention of South Koreans in North Korea, if inter-Korean dialogue is resumed.

There are also plans to publish an annual report summarizing the human rights situation in North Korea and publish the contents of Rodong Shinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean ruling party.

Unification Minister Kwon Yong-se told reporters, “We intend to create a situation in which North Korea, which has ignored the lives of its people and continued to take risks, will have no choice but to engage in dialogue toward denuclearization.”

“Now is the time to build on the U.S.-South Korea alliance to respond strongly and make North Korea realize that it has nothing to gain from military provocation.” quoted As the Korea JoongAng Ilbo said.

“Reunion can happen suddenly”

In response to the report, Yoon ordered the ministry to conduct an investigation into North Korea’s political, economic, social and human rights situation and to share the findings with the local and international communities.

Epoch Times photo
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks about the government’s supplementary budget during the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 25, 2022. (Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool/Getty Images)

Yoon said both South and North Korea must undergo change for reunification to occur.

“Reunification can happen suddenly, so it can only happen when we are ready,” he said. his office. “Please prepare with a calm judgment, not an emotional theory.”

North Korea has been at odds with rival South Korea since nuclear talks with the United States collapsed in 2019 over disagreements in exchanging measures to lift U.S.-led sanctions and reduce its nuclear arsenal and missile programs. has ceased substantially all cooperation with

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un further escalated tensions in 2022, firing more than 70 missiles, including a range of potentially nuclear-capable weapons, targeting South Korea and the US mainland.

In August last year, Yoon offered to bring economic benefits to North Korea in exchange for denuclearization measures, but Pyongyang rejected the offer. Kim said there will be no denuclearization talks, talks or “bargaining chips” in the process.

In September 2022, North Korea passed a new law that would allow it to “automatically” launch a nuclear strike against any “hostile force” that poses an imminent threat to its state.

Kim Jong-un vowed to “never give up nuclear weapons” despite the military situation on the Korean peninsula and North Korea’s “100 years of sanctions.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.