Tip News

March 20, 2019

Seoul replaces minister in charge of relations with Pyongyang

Seoul replaces minister in charge of relations with Pyongyang
'Seoul has been brokering the talks process between the US and Pyongyang' - By: AFP/File Saul LOEB

An academic and former head of a research institute was Friday appointed as Seoul's new unification minister, the South's key point of contact on inter-Korean affairs.

The appointment of Kim Yeon-chul comes days after the US and North Korea held a second much-anticipated summit in Vietnam, but failed to reach any agreement on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Kim, a pro-engagement academic who has headed the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification since last year, is replacing Cho Myoung-gyon in the role, which is seen as key in inter-Korean relations.

Cho took the post in 2017 -- is a longtime civil servant who first joined the unification ministry in 1980.

He has participated in several meetings with his North Korean counterpart as part of a growing rapprochement between Seoul and Pyongyang.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made headlines at their groundbreaking first summit in Singapore last year, but their commitment to the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" was criticised as vague.

The no deal outcome from their second meeting in Hanoi has been a disappointment for the South Korean president.

He had brokered the talks process between Washington and Pyongyang and touted the summit as a "remarkable breakthrough" for peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula.

In spite of the collapse of the Hanoi summit, Moon said earlier this month Seoul would consult with the US on ways to resume South Korean tourism to the North's Mount Kumgang.

He said he would also discuss restarting operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where Southern firms used to be staffed by Northern workers.

Moon has been pushing for the resumption of both projects as he seeks to engage Pyongyang, but doing so would fall foul of sanctions imposed on the North.

The newly-appointed Kim was a vocal critic of President Park Geun-hye's decision to shutter the Kaesong firms in 2016, in response to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.

He also supported Moon when he used South Korea's position as host of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to reopen communications with Pyongyang.

The appointment of Kim, a longtime confidant of Moon, comes as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

Kim has "expert knowledge on economic cooperation with North Korea and its nuclear issues," the Blue House said.

Short link: https://tipnews.com/u/ODYwMTM=

See also:

Related articles

Italy seizes blocked NGO migrant ship

Italy seizes blocked NGO migrant ship

Italy seized control Tuesday of an NGO ship it had prevented from landing nearly 50 migrants picked up off the Libyan coast, the interior ministry said.The authorities "are in the process of taking control of the Mare Jonio, escorting the boat into the (south

Nicaragua opposition refuses to resume government talks

Nicaragua opposition refuses to resume government talks

Nicaragua's opposition alliance said Tuesday that talks with President Daniel Ortega's government cannot resume until "political prisoners" are released and the repression of anti-regime protesters ends."There aren't the conditions to continue negotiatin

Musicians brace for Brexit disharmony

Musicians brace for Brexit disharmony

As the Brexit saga reaches a crescendo, classical musicians based in Britain fear that a disorderly divorce could threaten their European livelihood and stunt the development of potential maestros.Viola player Aliye Cornish told AFP she was particularly concer

HRW urges Japan to change transgender 'sterilisation' law

HRW urges Japan to change transgender 'sterilisation' law

Japan should "urgently" revise a law that effectively requires transgender people to be surgically sterilised if they want legal recognition of their gender identity, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.Under rules introduced in 2004, transgender people who wi



HELLO, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO RATE THIS POST Seoul replaces minister in charge of relations with Pyongyang

Sending comment Close