Unification Spokesperson’s commentary on proposals
by North Korea’s National Defense Commission
January 17, 2014
l The following is R.O.K. government’s stance on North Korea’s proposals made by the National Defense Commission yesterday(1.16).
l It is deeply regrettable that North Korea is distorting facts and misleading public opinion by making groundless claims.
l First, it is North Korea, which continued on with its verbal attacks in breach of the inter-Korean agreement to “stop slander.”
- Just two weeks ago, North Korea called for an end to slander in its New Year Address. Nevertheless, it has continued to issue slander and threats.
- North Korea should bear in mind that inter-Korean trust can only be built through action, not by mere rhetoric.
l Second, the military exercises are part of our annual defense training, conducted by any sovereign state, and we officially notify our neighboring countries including North Korea according to international practices and agreements.
- The international community including the people of R.O.K is well aware of the fact that it is North Korea that began the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula by: violating the Northern Limit Line(NLL), constantly making provocations in the West Sea, sinking the Cheonan vessel and shelling Yeonpyeong Island.
- Instead of criticizing our rightful military drills, North Korea should first take responsible measures for its past provocative actions.
l Third, the essence of the nuclear issue derives from North Korea’s nuclear development.
- North Korea is continuing its nuclear development in breach of the inter-Korean agreement and its international commitment on denuclearization. By conducting nuclear tests three times and advancing its nuclear capabilities, North Korea is threatening peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asia.
- If North Korea truly seeks peace on the Korean Peninsula, it must take tangible measures for denuclearization immediately.
l Fourth, family reunions are urgent, pure humanitarian matter that cannot be related to political or military situations.
- However, North Korea is making contradictory claims by relating family reunions, which is a pure humanitarian matter, to political issues.
- North Korea should immediately arrange family reunions without any conditions and take the first step in improving inter-Korean relations.
l Our government stance on improving inter-Korean relations by building trust between South and North Korea remains unchanged.
- If North Korea truly wants peace on the Korean Peninsula and improve inter-Korean relations, it should actively respond to such efforts made by our government.