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S. Korea reiterates vow to crack down on anti-Pyongyang leaflets

All News 11:42 July 17, 2020

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- Efforts to improve the human rights of North Koreans, including guaranteeing their right to know, should be made in a way that does not escalate tensions, the unification ministry said Friday, renewing its pledge to crack down on launches of leaflets into the communist nation.

The remark comes after a local newspaper reported Friday that Park Sang-hak, the defector activist heading Fighters for a Free North Korea, and an international organization are preparing to file a petition to the United Nations against the South Korean government.

"Sending leaflets to the North heightens inter-Korean tension and jeopardizes the safety of residents in border areas, and it must be immediately halted," Cho Hey-sil, the ministry's deputy spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.

"Efforts to improve human rights in North Korea and to guarantee North Koreans their 'right to know' must be done in a way that does not create inter-Korean tensions and avoids any harm to the resident," she said.

"The U.N. and the international community have also maintained that dialogue and cooperation between the two Koreas contributes to establishing peace in the Korean Peninsula and improving the North's human rights situation," she added.

The spokesperson also dismissed speculation that the government reached out to the North proposing a parliamentary meeting between the two sides, saying there are no plans as of now.

Earlier in the day, National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug said that he "proposes an inter-Korean parliamentary meeting to the leader of Supreme People's Assembly" in a ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of Constitution Day.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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