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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All News 16:00 April 10, 2020

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

Pro-unification group calls on U.S., U.N. to ease sanctions on N.K.

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- A pro-unification organization in South Korea called on the United States and the United Nations to promptly ease sanctions on North Korea amid efforts to prevent the global spread of the new coronavirus.

The South Korean Committee for Implementation of the June 15 Joint Declaration made the appeal in a statement Friday, urging them not only to grant exemptions to specific supplies but to lift sanctions.

"Sanctioned countries, including North Korea, Iran and Iraq, are struggling with lack of supplies due to powerful sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. amid increasing pressure on countries around the world to prevent the coronavirus," it said.

S. Korea to keep close eye on N.K. parliamentary meeting

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will keep a close eye on an upcoming meeting of North Korea's rubber-stamp legislature, the unification ministry said Monday, amid speculation that the communist nation could use the session to unveil a message to the United States.

The North's Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) is scheduled to meet on Friday. The meeting is drawing attention as the North appears to have created a new foreign ministry position tasked with handling negotiations with the U.S., raising speculation that Pyongyang could announce a message to the U.S. at the meeting.

"We will keep an eye on it," Yoh Sang-key, the unification ministry's spokesperson, said in a press briefing in response to a question about whether he expects such a message. "We cannot predict what issues will be dealt with at the session."

N. Korea could simplify this week's parliamentary meeting amid virus fight: official

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea could simplify procedures for an upcoming parliamentary meeting, as the country is making all-out efforts to prevent the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a unification ministry official said Tuesday.

The Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), the North's rubber-stamp parliament, is scheduled to meet Friday. This year's meeting comes as Pyongyang has restricted people's movement as part of efforts to block the spread of COVID-19.

"Deputies usually register for an SPA meeting one or two days earlier but this time they are likely to register on the day of the meeting. Things appear to have been simplified, presumably due to preventive efforts against COVID-19," the official said on condition of anonymity.

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