Too Early for NIS' Unification Chatter

Cho Jong Ik  |  2013-12-24 21:39

South Korean Minister of Unification Ryoo Kihl Jae commented on the timing of Korean unification today, cautioning that it "should not be thought of as a situation that can be brought about immediately or in the near future.

Ryoo, who was speaking before the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee, went on, Because the term unification contains a great number of variables, its no easy task to talk about by what time [it can or will be achieved].

Ryoos remarks follow in the wake of the director of South Koreas National Intelligence Service, Nam Jae Jun, who told a yearend meeting of NIS executives yesterday, Unification is possible in 2015. Lets die together to bring about the unification of our land under liberal democracy. Opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Park Jie Won reacted angrily to reports of Nam's comments, noting that the implication is of unification by force, and that is unhelpful for the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula.

Pouring water on the political tensions, South Koreas Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung Se also echoed Ryoos view, stating, We are putting a lot of different kinds of effort into fostering an international environment conducive to Korean unification, but it is a little early to be talking about this at present.

Elsewhere, Yun also warned of additional purges following the execution of Jang Song Taek, noting, We know that many people domestically are anticipating this. The South Korean government is investigating and analyzing various possibilities.

However, Yun dismissed recent claims that Kim Jong Euns half-brother Kim Jong Nam has requested asylum in South Korea, saying that We are not looking into anything like that. Nam Jae Jun took a similar line at a National Assembly committee meeting yesterday, calling the rumor groundless.

Nevertheless, Yun did reveal that South Korea has implemented a policy to prepare for the possibility of North Korean elites seeking asylum in the wake of Jangs execution. The order has been handed down to overseas embassies and diplomatic posts to remain on alert," he stated. "They are ready to pass word to headquarters if there are North Korea-related movements.

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