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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All News 16:00 December 31, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

Family of official killed by N. Korea steps up legal battle for info disclosure

SEOUL -- The family of a South Korean fisheries official killed by North Korea's military near the western sea border last year applied for an injunction Wednesday to stop the presidential office's information on the official's death from being designated as access-restricted presidential records.

In September last year, North Korea fatally shot the 47-year-old fisheries official, who was adrift on its side of the Yellow Sea, and burned his body, according to the South Korean military. The Coast Guard announced the official appeared to be trying to defect to the North, though the announcement was flatly denied by his bereaved family.

N. Korea could stage ICBM or nuclear test before U.S. midterm elections: think tank

SEOUL -- North Korea could conduct an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or nuclear test to put pressure on America ahead of the U.S. midterm elections slated for November next year, a Seoul-based think tank said Tuesday.

The Kim Jong-un regime has refrained from ICBM and nuclear tests since November 2017, but it could break the self-imposed moratorium next year to draw Washington's attention before the key political event, according to the 2022 forecast by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

Moon says new southeastern railroads can play part in East Asia railway bloc

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday a set of new railroads, poised to open in the country's southeastern region, can play a key role in an East Asia railway bloc that extends to Europe.

Moon made the remarks during a launching ceremony of a railway network connecting major cities in North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang provinces. Under the plan, four railroads will run over a stretch of 142.2 kilometers linking Daegu, Yeongcheon, Gyeongju, Ulsan and Busan.

Seoul urges N. Korea to start new year by opening door for dialogue

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry on Monday urged North Korea to start the new year with a step for dialogue and cooperation, as Pyongyang is set to convene a key party meeting this week to discuss domestic and foreign policy issues.

North Korea earlier announced the ruling Workers' Party will hold a plenary meeting of its central committee "in the last third of December" to "discuss and decide on work plans for the new year."

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