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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

16:00 June 24, 2022

SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

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PM vows resolute response to N. Korean provocations based on U.S. alliance

SEOUL -- South Korea will sternly respond to North Korean provocations with actions, rather than with words, based on its solid alliance with the United States, while simultaneously urging the North to come to the dialogue table, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Friday.

In his speech at the 2022 Korean Peninsula Peace Symposium, co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the Ministry of Unification, Han said Seoul intends to normalize inter-Korean relations through a bold plan for substantial denuclearization and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, while upholding the principles of its relations with Pyongyang.

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Yoon vows to respond firmly to N.K. provocations, leave door open to dialogue

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol said Friday his administration will respond firmly to North Korea's provocations but always leave the door open to dialogue.

Yoon made the remarks in a congratulatory address for a peace forum co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the unification ministry in Seoul.

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Coast Guard chief apologizes for 'causing misunderstanding' over probe into fisheries official's death

INCHEON -- The chief of the Korea Coast Guard apologized Wednesday for "causing misunderstanding," days after the organization overturned its previous announcement that a fisheries official killed by North Korea in 2020 was attempting to defect to the North.

Last week, the Coast Guard and the defense ministry announced they have not found any circumstances backing the probe results from two years ago, reversing from their previous stance and apologizing to the bereaved family.

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Unification minister expresses willingness to hold talks with new N. Korean counterpart

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Kwon Young-se said Tuesday he is ready to meet North Korea's new point man handling inter-Korean affairs at "any time in any format" to discuss pending issues on the Korean Peninsula.

Kwon extended the overture during his first press conference since taking office last month, citing the recent appointment of Ri Son-gwon, the North's former foreign minister, as the head of the United Front Department (UFD) in charge of cross-border relations. Choe Son-hui was promoted to the post of foreign minister, replacing Ri, in a reshuffle Pyongyang announced on June 11 following a key Workers' Party meeting.

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Yoon suggests possible probe into 2019 repatriation of N.K. sailors

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol suggested Tuesday his administration could investigate the 2019 repatriation of two North Korean sailors, saying many people have questions about the then government's decision to send them back.

Yoon was referring to the repatriation of two North Korean sailors who tried to defect to South Korea after allegedly killing 16 fellow crew members on a fishing boat, which happened under the previous administration of Moon Jae-in.
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