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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All Headlines 16:00 February 28, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

N.K. media slams S. Korean FM for discussing Korean peace with foreign countries

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet slammed South Korea's foreign minister Monday for discussing Korean peace with her foreign counterparts in what it called a "spineless act" of trying to win foreign approval for issues between the two Koreas.

Earlier this month, Seoul's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha held talks with her U.S. and Japanese counterparts -- Mike Pompeo and Toshimitsu Motegi -- on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany to discuss cooperation over stalled nuclear talks with North Korea.

"There are still fools asking for subservience and humiliation, completely oblivious to the bitter lesson history has taught us," the propaganda outlet DPRK Today said, adding that the South Korean foreign minister's visit to Germany "once again proves the point."

Unification ministry postpones Panmunjom tours as coronavirus cases spike

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry said Monday it will postpone the resumption of a tour program to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom as a precaution as the number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea has been rising sharply.

The tours to Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which separates the two Koreas, had been scheduled to take place from Feb. 26-28 for Seoul-based diplomats, displaced people who hail from North Korea and separated families.

But the program has now been called off due to coronavirus concerns, the ministry said.

N.K. media outlet accuses high-profile defector of embezzlement, rape

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet on Wednesday accused high-profile defector Thae Yong-ho of deserting the communist nation after committing embezzlement and rape in the country's first reaction to the decision by the South Korean main opposition party to scout him for April's general elections.

Thae, a former No. 2 diplomat at North Korea's Embassy in London, defected to the South in 2016. He has since been a vocal critic of the regime in Pyongyang, and the South's conservative main opposition United Future Party (UFP) scouted him earlier this month to run for the National Assembly.

On Wednesday, Meari, one of the North's propaganda websites, slammed the party's decision, saying "driving these scums to the forefront of confrontation between the two Koreas is an intolerable challenge to our nation's desire for unification."

1 in 5 N.K. defectors experienced discrimination in S. Korea last year: poll

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- About 1 out of 5 North Korean defectors experienced discrimination in South Korea last year mostly due to "cultural" differences, a survey showed Wednesday.

According to the survey conducted by the Hana Foundation, a state-run agency that helps the resettlement of North Korean defectors, 17.2 percent of 3,000 defectors polled said that they experienced discrimination last year.

The ratio was slightly down from 20.2 percent reported a year earlier but indicated a still deep-rooted prejudice against those defecting from communist North Korea.

N.K. media slams Moon's efforts to improve relations with Japan

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet slammed President Moon Jae-in on Thursday over his remarks urging improved relations with Japan, accusing him of compromising due to economic interests and pressure from the United States.

Uriminzokkiri, one of the North's propaganda websites, made the criticism Thursday, claiming that Moon "begged for more frequent meetings" with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a meeting with Japan's new Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita earlier this month.

The outlet also criticized Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha for urging cooperation from her Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi when they met bilaterally on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

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