Announcement on Follow-up Measures
□ President Moon Jae-in presented the new government's North Korea policy on July 6 in the name of the 'Berlin Initiative,' which aims to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue and realize a peaceful Korean Peninsula.
of the ‘Berlin Initiative’
As agreed upon in the July 4 South-North Joint Communique, Inter-Korean Basic Agreement, June 15 South-North Joint Declaration, and October 4 Declaration, the Government, together with the North, is willing to take the lead in promoting peace and easing tension on the Korean Peninsula as the owners of the Korean Peninsula, on the basis of mutual understanding and respect.
Inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation, which aim to build peace and ease tension on the Korean Peninsula, will contribute to resolving the North Korean nuclear problem and, moreover, serve as an opportunity to catalyze a mutually virtuous cycle of improving inter-Korean relations and resolving the nuclear issue.
□ As clearly stated in the ‘Berlin Initiative,' the R.O.K. Government does not hold a hostile policy towards the North and will not pursue the collapse of North Korea, nor unification through absorption.
A peaceful Korean Peninsula free from nuclear and war threats is the goal the Government consistently pursues.
If Pyongyang chooses to make the right decisions, we hope to open up a brighter future with North Korea by cooperating with the international community.
□ Today, the Government has proposed to the North an inter-Korean Red Cross talk and inter-Korean military dialogue, to discuss on the reunion of separated families and to stop hostile acts along the Military Demarcation Line(MDL), as follow-up measures to the ‘Berlin Initiative.'
These two are the most pressing issues in terms of easing tension on the Korean Peninsula and inter-Korean cooperation.
The reunion of separated families should take precedence over any other political consideration. Currently, a little more than 60,000 among the total of 130,000 South Korean applicants are alive; 63 percent of the remaining applicants are over 80 years old and 3,000 are passing away every year.
We must allow these elderly family members in the South and North to meet with each other at least once and visit their ancestral graves while they are still alive.
Also imperative to settling peace on the Korean Peninsula is to eliminate the risk of accidental conflict and relieve tension along the MDL through inter-Korean military dialogue.
If North Korea truly wants peace on the Korean Peninsula and improvement of inter-Korean relations, and respects the July 4 South-North Joint Communique, Inter-Korean Basic Agreement, June 15 South-North Joint Declaration, and October 4 Declaration in which the two Koreas have agreed upon, it should respond to our sincere proposal.
If South and North Korea sit face to face, both parties will be able to candidly discuss on issues of mutual interests.
□ In addition, the R.O.K. Government insists Pyongyang normalize the inter-Korean communications channel at Panmunjeom and military communications channel in Seohae as soon as possible.
□ We look forward to receiving a positive response from the North.
July 17, 2017
Minister of Unification Cho Myoung Gyon