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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

16:00 May 26, 2023

SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

S. Korea monitoring N. Korea's possible participation in Asian Games: ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry said Wednesday it is closely monitoring the possibility of North Korea taking part in the Hangzhou Asian Games and other sports events in the second half amid abating concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a report to the National Assembly, the ministry said the North's trade with China has recovered to 91 percent of the 2019 level this year amid growing speculation over the North's border reopening with China following years of COVID-19 restrictions.

S. Korea slaps more unilateral sanctions on N. Korea over illegal weapons-financing cyber activities

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday imposed additional unilateral sanctions on North Korea in response to illegal cyber activities aimed at financing the North's nuclear and missile development programs, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

According to the ministry, South Korea added three organizations and seven individuals involved in North Korea's illegal cyber activities to its sanctions lists on Pyongyang.

Election watchdog to undergo cyber security check from NIS over N.K. hacking attempts

SEOUL -- The National Election Commission (NEC) agreed to receive a cyber security checkup from the state intelligence agency, a ruling party lawmaker said Tuesday, amid criticism the election watchdog remained idle to North Korean hacking attempts.

The NEC agreed to a joint security check by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Korea Internet & Security Agency, a public institution under the Ministry of Science and ICT, Rep. Lee Man-hee of the ruling People Power Party said.

Private group chief convicted in N. Korea remittance case

SUWON, South Korea -- The chief of a Seoul-based private organization was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday on charges of colluding with a business tycoon embroiled in a scandal involving unauthorized foreign currency remittances to North Korea.

The Suwon District Court found An Bu-soo, the chairman of the Asia Pacific Exchange Association, guilty of multiple charges, including violating the foreign exchange transactions law.

N. Korean boat warned S. Korean cargo ship in East Sea to move out to open sea: source

SEOUL -- A North Korean boat warned a South Korean cargo ship sailing in the international waters of the East Sea to "move out to the open sea" earlier this month, a source said Tuesday, raising maritime safety concerns amid heightened cross-border tensions.

People aboard the North Korean boat gesticulated toward the 30,000-ton cargo ship and sent a message demanding it move farther out into the high seas through an international maritime communication network on May 8, according to the source.

(LEAD) Unification minister urges N. Korean leader to return to dialogue

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification minister called on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to cease the country's provocative acts and return to the dialogue table, stressing that Seoul has no "hostile" intentions against Pyongyang.

In a meeting with reporters, Kwon Young-se also urged the North's leader to look back on the country's worsening economic situation amid global sanctions over the North's nuclear and missile programs and serious food shortages.

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