ROK approves civilian contact with DPRK

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-27 07:25

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea on Friday approved the first civilian contact with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea under the new government of President Moon Jae-in, indicating a gradual resumption of inter-Korean exchanges.

Seoul's Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Yoo-jin said the government gave a green light to the request by civic group Korean Sharing Movement for contact with the DPRK to tackle malaria in border areas.

It was the first such approval by the ROK government since the DPRK conducted its fourth nuclear test last year.

Lee reiterated the new government's position that Seoul will flexibly review civilian exchanges such as a humanitarian aid within the limits of undamaging the international sanctions on the DPRK while sternly dealing with any DPRK provocations.

Earlier this month, the Korean Sharing Movement requested a contact with Pyongyang to discuss the humanitarian assistance to the DPRK people. If discussions go smoothly, the civic group's visit to Pyongyang could be pushed in early June.

Lee said that if any request for its visit to the DPRK and the supply of relief goods is made, the ministry would decide on it due to the inter-Korean relations and the security of the visitors.

About 20 requests for contact with or visit to the DPRK have been made by ROK civic groups, media said.


(China Daily 05/27/2017 page8)

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