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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All News 16:00 June 05, 2020

SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

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S. Korea to revise law on inter-Korean exchanges to allow N.K. firms to do business in South

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is pushing to revise a law governing inter-Korean exchanges in a way that allows North Korean firms to do business in the South as part of efforts to further promote cross-border exchanges and peace, the unification ministry said Monday.

Ministry spokesperson Yoh Sang-key stressed, however, that the envisioned revision is nothing more than upgrading an already existing regulation into a formal law and does not in any way mean that the government is trying to abruptly speed up cooperation with the North against global sanctions.

Yoh made the remark in response to a local newspaper report that the government is trying to revise the South-North Exchange and Cooperation Act in such ways, accusing the government of seeking such active economic cooperation with North Korea despite global sanctions banning such contact.

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S. Korea will push ahead with cross-border projects to prepare for post-coronavirus era

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will do what it can on its own in preparations to move railway reconnection and other joint projects with North Korea forward after the coronavirus pandemic is over, a unification ministry official said Tuesday.

"With hopes that the North will respond, we will prepare for inter-Korean relations in the post-coronavirus age starting with the ones we can afford to do, such as the rail construction project along the east coast and the cultural heritage research project in the Demilitarized Zone," the official said.

As part of efforts to push for inter-Korean relations, Seoul earlier said it will conduct a research project to inscribe the DMZ as a UNESCO World Heritage Site jointly with North Korea.

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Unification minister holds videoconference with WFP chief

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul held a videoconference with the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday and discussed plans to provide aid to North Korea, his office said.

In the conference, WFP Executive Director David Beasley explained the need to cooperate in providing assistance to North Korea amid the global coronavirus pandemic and urged South Korea to play an active role, the ministry said in a press release.

"The South Korean government has a strong vision to build a 'biotic community on the Korean Peninsula' through cooperation with North Korea and the international community," Kim said, and expressed his appreciation for WFP's contribution in helping the North.

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S. Korea to legislate ban on anti-Pyongyang leaflet campaign after N.K. threats

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- The government is working on a plan to legislate a ban on sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the communist nation, the unification ministry said Thursday, hours after North Korea railed against such leaflets and threatened to scrap a no-hostility military pact with the South.

The envisioned legislation is aimed at preventing chilly inter-Korean relations from deteriorating further, but enacting a law banning leaflet-sending could spark an outcry over the possible infringement of the right to freedom of expression.

The announcement came hours after Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, issued a statement denouncing the flying-in of such propaganda leaflets as a hostile act that runs counter to peace agreements the two sides signed during summit talks of their leaders in 2018.
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