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Restarting Yongbyon nuclear reactor is not violation of inter-Korean agreements, says Seoul official

Restarting Yongbyon nuclear reactor is not violation of inter-Korean agreements, says Seoul official

Posted September. 08, 2021 07:46,   

Updated September. 08, 2021 07:46


South Korean First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong-kun said North Korea restarting its nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex in early July is not a violation of inter-Korean agreements.

At a plenary session of the National Assembly's foreign affairs and unification committee on Tuesday, Choi was asked if the North’s restarting of nuclear facilities in Yongbyon is a violation of the agreements made at the inter-Korean summit held at Panmunjom in 2018. Choi answered that he does not think so. “There are visible measures taken by North Korea, which are still in progress, from the agreements reached through the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration and the September 19 Pyongyang Joint Declaration,” he said, citing the closing of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and the Dongchang-ri missile test site as examples.

One of the key officials at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae also said to correspondents that the presidential office also shares the same stance as Choi. Despite the Panmunjom Declaration, which states that the two Koreas confirmed the common goal of realizing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization, both the government and Cheong Wa Dae don’t consider the North’s restarting of nuclear facilities as a violation of the agreements.

Regarding the U.S. Congress’ intention to include South Korea and Japan in the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance comprising five countries, Choi said the South Korean government has not officially examined joining the alliance so far.


According to the analysis of Hanssem’s furniture sales by item from 2020 when COVID-19 broke out in South Korea to the first half of 2021, the sales of dining tables grew 53 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, followed by furniture for study (40 percent), mattress (20 percent), and sofa (12 percent). The survey of Hyundai Livart’s sales by item from January 2020 to June 2021 also had similar results. Kitchen furniture, including dining tables, grew 36 percent on average every quarter since the outbreak of COVID-19, recording the highest growth rate among all categories.

 특히 식탁의 대형화 추세가 뚜렷했다. 현대리바트에 따르면 주방가구 중에서도 6인용 식탁 매출이 코로나19 이전보다 25%로 가장 높은 성장률을 보였다. 현대리바트 관계자는 “구색 맞추기용이던 6인용 식탁이 주력 상품으로 떠오른 것은 이례적”이라며 “1, 2인 가구는 4인용 식탁을 찾고 4인 가구는 6인용 식

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com