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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All News 16:00 December 04, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

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S. Korea in talks with WFP to redeem money sent for N.K. rice aid

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry said Monday that it is in talks with the World Food Programme (WFP) to redeem the money it sent for a project to provide rice assistance to North Korea after Pyongyang rejected the offer.

In June last year, the ministry announced a plan to provide 50,000 tons of rice to North Korea through the WFP and sent the organization around US$11.6 million to cover transportation, equipment and monitoring costs.

The plan, however, has since been stalled as the North rejected the assistance offer in protest over joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States.

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Unification ministry welcomes passage of anti-leafleting bill by parliamentary committee

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry on Wednesday welcomed a parliamentary committee's passage of a proposal to ban the flying of propaganda leaflets into North Korea, saying the measure will help protect residents in border regions and ease cross-border tensions.

The government and the ruling Democratic Party have been seeking to legislate a ban on the sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets after North Korea bristled at such activity and even blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in June in anger.

Pyongyang has denounced the leafleting as a violation of inter-Korean agreements and demanded that Seoul take preventive measures.

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Leader of anti-N.K. leaflet campaign indicted for alleged assault against journalists

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors have indicted the leader of an anti-North Korea leaflet campaign for alleged assault against journalists, officials said Thursday.

Park Sang-hak, 52, the head of Fighters for a Free North Korea, was charged on Nov. 25 with beating and throwing bricks at producers and crew from the broadcaster SBS on June 23. They visited his home in southern Seoul to interview him about the leafleting campaign but are said to have sustained injuries from his attack.

The North Korean defector is also accused of firing a tear gas gun at police officers who were dispatched to the scene following a report.

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Unification minister urges N.K. to refrain from provoking incoming U.S. administration

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- Unification Minister Lee In-young renewed calls for North Korea on Thursday to refrain from undertaking provocations amid concern that Pyongyang could try to test the incoming U.S. administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Lee made the remarks during his virtual speech at a forum on peace, urging North Korea to abide by a summit agreement signed between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2018 to reduce tensions and bolster cooperation.

"I have said this repeatedly on several occasions, but there should never be a provocation from North Korea as it runs counter to the agreement signed by the two Koreas and it goes directly against the will of our people and their desire for peace," he said.
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