Statement by the Spokesperson
Ministry of Unification
o North Korea has notified us today that as of December 1 it would limit travel across the Military Demarcation Line, interrupt tourism in the city of Gaeseong and suspend the railroad service between the two Koreas. On behalf of the ROK government, I express deep regret over North Korea's action.
o Since travel by land and economic cooperation between the two Koreas have an important significance in improving relations between the two Koreas, North Korea's decision to limit and suspend them is a serious step in creating a substantial setback in inter-Korean relations.
o Furthermore, if the North unilaterally implements such measures, it would be a violation of inter-Korean agreements, including those on access to and stay in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
We strongly urge the North to rescind such measures that will seriously hamper inter-Korean relations.
o The ROK government will keep a firm position that we will work to improve inter-Korean relations and urge the North to come to the table for inter-Korean dialogue.
The ROK has already expressed several times that we respect the spirit of inter-Korean agreements, including the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Summit Declaration, and will discuss with the North the ways to implement these agreements through dialogue.
Rather than distorting our positions and deteriorating inter-Korean relations any further, the North must come forward for inter-Korean dialogue and cooperate with us in resolving the pending issues between the two Koreas.
o In the meantime, giving top priority to assuring the safety of our citizens staying in the North, the ROK government will take all necessary measures.