DPRK diplomat says atmosphere of reconciliation emerging, hopes for breakthrough

Friday, 2018-04-06 07:38:04
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The image shows RoK President Moon Jae-in (L) and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, who are set to hold their first bilateral summit at the joint security area of Panmunjom, inside the Demilitarized Zone, on April 27, 2018. (Photo:Yonhap)
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The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s top diplomat has said an atmosphere is emerging on the Korean Peninsula for inter-Korean reconciliation and trust-building and that a "breakthrough" for reunification could be made if the two Koreas closely cooperate.

DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho made the remarks during a ministerial-level meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Baku, Azerbaijan, on April 5 (local time).

"An atmosphere is emerging on the Korean Peninsula between two Koreas," Ri said. "Up until last year, the global community's anxiety and concerns directed over the Korean Peninsula ... has given way to applause of support and welcome."

Ri said the recent developments have proved that the two Koreas, if they cooperate, could improve inter-Korean relations, ease tensions and make a "breakthrough" for reunification free from outside intervention.

He gave credit for the current peace mood to DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, saying it is the result of the completion of the country's nuclear armament, according to reports.

His trip to Azerbaijan appears to be part of the DPRK's stepped-up diplomatic drive ahead of its respective summits with the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the United States in April and May. The two Koreas plan to hold what will be their third summit in history at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27.

Ri plans to travel to Russia next week to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on April 10. He earlier met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

On April 4, a separate group of DPRK officials met with their European Union counterparts in Brussels and discussed issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula, foreign media reported.

They later met with Bulgarian officials in charge of Asia affairs. Bulgaria currently holds the EU presidency.

RoK's foreign ministry said on April 5 that it is closely monitoring the recent diplomat activities by DPRK and called on Pyongyang to use such overseas trips as a chance to clarify its stance on the need for denuclearization and help establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

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