SK's Prime Minister Calls for Consideration of 'Freikauf'

Lee Sang Yong  |  2015-02-27 13:58

The South Korean Prime Minister, Lee Wan Koo, declared on the 25th that the government needs to consider a South Korean version of the freikauf scheme, which means the buying of freedom, in the German language.

Before East and West Germany reunified in 1990, the West German government paid East Germany to repatriate political dissident prisoners detained there. Shim Jae Kwon, a lawmaker of New Politics Alliance, a leading opposition party, said in an interpellation session that South Korea also needs to employ this same mechanism to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which Lee declared worthy of consideration.

Lee also underscored the need to safeguard South Korean citizens safety before opening Mount Geumgang resort up to tourism again. He also stated his belief that family reunions among elderly citizens of the two Koreas, who have been separated since the end of the Korean War, can resume if the inter-Korean relationship improves.

Another issue Lee mentioned as appearing on his agenda is attempting to strike a compromise between freedom of private organizations that send anti-Pyongyang leaflets to North Korea and the safety in the citizens around the areas residing around the launch areas.

In regard to the pending law in the South Korean National Assembly aimed at protecting North Korean human rights, Lee called for measures that actually ensure these rights--namely compromise to reach a consensus between the ruling and opposition parties, which the government can employ to take the appropriate steps.

*Translated by Jihae Lee

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