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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

16:00 September 23, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

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S. Korean gov't calls on activists to refrain from sending leaflets to N.K.

SEOUL-- South Korea's unification ministry urged local activist groups to refrain from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border amid lingering concerns that such a campaign could lead to the escalation of tensions on the peninsula.

The ministry also made clear Seoul will take a "strong and stern" measure in case Pyongyang carries out its threat of retaliatory action against those who seek to spread those leaflets, usually using large-scale balloons.

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S. Koreans grow more skeptical of N. Korea's denuclearization: survey

SEOUL -- Nine out of 10 South Koreans are skeptical about the possibility of North Korea abandoning its nuclear program, a survey showed Thursday, amid a prolonged impasse in inter-Korean relations and denuclearization talks.

According to the poll of 1,200 adults by the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies (IPUS) at Seoul National University, 92.5 percent replied that the denuclearization of the North was "impossible," recording the highest percentage since the annual survey began in 2007.

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Ex-unification minister questioned in probe into 2019 repatriation of 2 N. Korean fishermen

SEOUL -- Prosecutors on Tuesday questioned former Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul as part of an investigation into allegations involving the previous government's repatriation of two North Korean fishermen in 2019, officials said.

Kim has been accused of ordering an early end to a government inquiry into the North Koreans captured near the inter-Korean sea border and sending them back to the North despite their wish to defect to South Korea, while he was unification minister.

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Unification minister presses N. Korea to respond to Yoon's 'audacious' plan

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification minister on Monday urged North Korea to respond to Seoul's dialogue offer revolving around the Yoon Suk-yeol administration's "audacious" proposal designed to help improve its economy and the livelihoods of its people in exchange for denuclearization.

Kwon Young-se delivered the message at a forum on unification-related policy in Seoul as the North remains unresponsive to the South's outreach for inter-Korean talks.

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JCS chief warns N.K. regime cannot survive in case of nuclear use attempt

SEOUL -- South Korea's top military officer warned Monday that any attempt by North Korea to use nuclear arms would leave it with "no scenario for regime survival," in a response to Pyongyang's recent codification of an assertive nuclear policy.

Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum issued the warning as Pyongyang unveiled its nuclear policy earlier this month, which leaves open the possibility of a preemptive strike in the event of a regime security threat.
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