Seoul Dismisses N.Korean Endorsement of New Top Officials

  • By Kim Myong-song

    July 15, 2020 12:53

    The government here on Tuesday dismissed a North Korean endorsement of its pick for new unification minister and special presidential adviser.

    A Unification Ministry official on Tuesday told reporters the endorsement, by North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri, was merely a "shot in the dark."

    Lee In-young (left) and Im Jong-seok

    Earlier, Uriminzokkiri said, "We have great hopes for Lee In-young and Im Jong-seok. We are paying attention to what they will do in the future as both have made critical remarks about the Seoul-Washington working group" that enforces sanctions against the North.

    Lee has been nominated as the next unification minister and Im, a former presidential chief of staff who accompanied President Moon Jae-in to all three inter-Korean summits, is the new presidential adviser for foreign and security affairs.

    The website pointed out that Lee and Im both were prominent student activists in the 1980s, who have committed themselves to engaging with the North.

    It also encouraged the two men to "muster the courage to stand up to the U.S."

    But the ministry official reacted irritably to reporters' questions about the article. "It's inappropriate for us to comment on what an irresponsible propaganda media outlet has said, and we can expect nothing from it," the official said. "Do you comment and report on every random flyer?"

    Uriminzokkiri is run by the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, which is in charge of inter-Korean contacts and the equivalent of the Unification Ministry. 

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