Yonhap News Agency, Seoul, November 29th. South Korean Unification Minister Quan Ningshi visited Panmunjom on the 29th for the first time and said at a press conference that he hoped that the freezing point of inter-Korean relations would blow warm wind and urge the DPRK to return to dialogue.
Quan Ningshi said that North Korea has recently launched missiles to launch provocations, which has led to an escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula, and relations between South Korea and North Korea have fallen to a freezing point. He visited Panmunjom with the hope of melting ice with a little warmer.
Quan Ningshi emphasized that the root cause of the vicious cycle of inter-Korean relations is lack of trust. To break the deadlock and repair relations, it is necessary to continue dialogue and rebuild mutual trust. The South Korean government has no hostility towards North Korea, nor does it pursue absorption and reunification. But he also said that North Korea's nuclear threats and provocations by force will never be tolerated. North Korea's development of nuclear and missiles will not only fail to achieve prosperity, but may even increase the difficulty of maintaining system security.
Concerning North Korea's intention to continuously violate the "September 19th Military Agreement between South Korea and North Korea" through a series of armed demonstrations, Quan Ningshi said that North Korea seems to intend to reverse the situation in a direction that is beneficial to itself. In the short term, North Korea should not easily change its attitude. But the South Korean side will not be in a hurry, and will wait patiently for North Korea to change its attitude based on principles.
This is Kwon's first visit to Panmunjom since he took office as Minister of Unification. He inspected the Joint Security Area (JSA) Garrison Brigade and the third outpost, Freedom House, Military Armistice Commission meeting room, Peace House, pedestrian bridge and other facilities. (Finish)
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