FM Comments on Defection of N.Korean Officials

  • By Lim Min-hyuk

    July 10, 2015 09:33

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's reign of terror is having a considerable impact on North Korean officials stationed overseas, several of whom have defected to South Korea, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said Thursday.

    Yun was speaking to a forum hosted by the Kwanhun Club, a fraternity of veteran journalists, in Seoul.

    Yun Byung-se

    "Over the three-and-a-half years since Kim took power, about 70 officials have been executed," Yun said. "That’s a sevenfold increase from the same period during the Kim Jong-il regime."

    "It's self-evident what will happen if the reign of terror intensifies, the economy worsens, and human rights are violated further," he added.

    Turning to President Park Geun-hye's visit to Washington later this year, Yun said, "I think there'll be an important bilateral agreement about the North."

    He said Park will decide soon whether to attend celebrations in China of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, but Kim Jong-un “doesn't seem interested in attending."

    Yun said UNESCO's decision to add historic Japanese industrial sites to the World Heritage list where Koreans were forced to toil "is a promise to the international community that each country has the responsibility to comply with."

    Japan initially admitted to the committee that forced labor was used at the sites but has since been backpedaling on a point of semantics.

    He said "the door is always open" to a Seoul-Tokyo summit, but "it'll be possible only if there's some progress on various issues, including imperial Japan's mobilization of sex slaves," which Tokyo is also trying to whitewash.

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