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It is time for Unification Ministry to change

Posted July. 03, 2023 07:38,   

Updated July. 03, 2023 07:38


“Until now, the Ministry of Unification has played a role that suits the name of the Ministry of North Korea Support, but it should not be that way. Now is the time for the Ministry of Unification to change.”

This is what President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Sunday. He recently replaced the Minister and Vice Minister of Unification and the Presidential Unification Secretary simultaneously, emphasizing firsthand the background of the across-the-board overhaul of major personnel in charge of the unification policies in general. It is seen as his directive to change the role and stance of the Ministry of Unification, which has been focused on inter-Korean cooperation, and raise the North Korean human rights issues among others head-on.

According to a written briefing by Senior Secretary to the President for Public Relations Kim Eun-hye, President Yoon made these remarks to his aides regarding personnel of the Ministry of Unification, including Kim Young-ho, who was nominated as a minister candidate on Thursday. “The Ministry of Unification will have to fulfill its original role in accordance with the constitutional creed of unification based on the fundamental principles of freedom and democracy,” President Yoon requested. “The unification we should aim for should be a unification in which all North and South Korea residents are better-to-do and live more humanely.” “The Ministry of Unification will mainly be in charge of analyzing and responding to trends in North Korea and related to human rights issues of its regime,” said an official from the presidential office.

Earlier, President Yoon met five former presidential secretaries nominated as vice ministers on Wednesday, the day before the personnel announcement, and on Friday, the day after the announcement. At this meeting, President Yoon asked them not to show allegiance to him but to demonstrate allegiance to what the Constitution represents.

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com · Mee-Jee Lee image@donga.com