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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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