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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All News 16:00 January 10, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

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N.K. propaganda outlet slams Moon's pitch for peace

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet slammed President Moon Jae-in's recent pitch for peace on the Korean Peninsula, accusing him of having a "two-faced" attitude while clinging to what it called U.S. hostile policy against Pyongyang.

Uriminzokkiri, one of the North's propaganda websites, made the criticism in a commentary complaining about South Korea's joint military exercises with the United States and introduction of weapons on the Korean Peninsula.

Referring to a December contribution by Moon carried on Project Syndicate, a global organization carrying op-ed commentaries by prominent figures, the propaganda outlet said it is a "deception and mockery" to talk about peace while escalating tensions on the peninsula with such military drills and weapons purchases.

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Unification ministry to expand bureau in charge of inter-Korean exchanges

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry plans to carry out an internal shake-up to expand its bureau in charge of cross-border exchanges and cooperation, a government source said Monday, in an apparent effort to revive the stalled inter-Korean relations.

The reorganization plan also calls for establishing a new division that will take charge of border cooperation issues, such as Seoul's push to turn the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which bisects the two Koreas, into a global peace zone.

The new division will be placed under the Office of Exchange and Cooperation.

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Moon urges inter-Korean efforts to realize Kim Jong-un visit to S. Korea

SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in proposed Tuesday that the two Koreas make concerted efforts to create the conditions for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to visit South Korea as agreed.

In his New Year's address, he also reaffirmed his administration's commitment to pushing for the resumption of two major inter-Korean projects -- the Kaesong industrial complex and Mount Kumgang tours -- as well as the reconnection of roads and railways.

Relevant efforts have made little headway as Seoul has abided by the U.N. Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang.

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S. Korea watching for possible N. Korea message on cross-border ties

SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will closely watch for North Korea issuing a separate message to the South later this month after leader Kim Jong-un made no mention of inter-Korean relations in his New Year's Day message, a government official said Tuesday.

The North has usually issued a message to the South in the form of a statement to the whole Korean people after mid-January following a joint meeting of the ruling party, the government and relevant groups every year, the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

"We will closely observe whether North Korea issues a separate message for the South," he added.

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N.K. official blames S. Korea for 'serious debacle' in inter-Korean relations

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean official lashed out at South Korea on Wednesday for causing a "serious debacle" in inter-Korean relations, calling for an end to joint military drills with the United States as a first step to end its "paranoia."

Ri Kum-chol, vice chairman of the central committee of the Korean Social Democratic Party, a minor political party, made the remarks in an interview carried by Uriminzokkiri TV, a North Korean propaganda outlet.

The criticism came a day after President Moon Jae-in invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to visit South Korea and reaffirmed his commitment to implementing agreed-upon cooperative projects between the two Koreas.
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