Go to contents

North’s Regret for Yellow Sea Engagement

Posted July. 25, 2002 22:01,   


On July 25, 2002 North Korea expressed regret for the June 29th Yellow Sea Engagement and suggested that the 7th minister-level talk be held in Seoul to put the South-North relations back on terms.

Kim Young-sung, the chief representative of North Korea, sent a telephone notification, via the Pan Moon Jum liaison office, to his South’s counterpart Jung Se-hyun, the Minister of Reunification. In the notification, Kim stated, “We expressed regret for the accidental occurrence of the armed clash in the Yellow Sea. We consider mutual efforts by North and South necessary to prevent any future incident of this kind.”

The government accepted the North’s expression of regret satisfying and meeting our demand for apology, reprimand of the officials in charge and promise of prevention of such occurrence. Thus, it will hold a meeting of relevant ministers on 28th to discuss the procedure and date for the proposed meeting. As a result, the meeting will be held some time in August.

Kim Young-sung in his statement suggested, “At the 7th minister-level talk North and South can discuss the matters of interest regarding, for example, the details to implement agreements under the April 5th Mutual Press Release such as construction of railway linking North and South, reunion of divided families, etc.” To materialize these agreed issues, he proposed a working-level meeting of ministers with chief representatives excluded at the Kum Kang Mountain in early August.

Associate Minster of Reunification Kim Hyung-ki said, “North’s expression of regret can be construed as an obvious expression of apology and regret. We will fill up the gaps during the talks.” He also stressed, “North’s expression of regret and proposal of the meeting can hopefully pave the way for putting the South-North relations back on terms.”

Young-Sik Kim Dong-Ki Sung spear@donga.com esprit@donga.com