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Unification minister to visit Japan to discuss N.Korean issues

March 20, 2023 - 17:47 By Ji Da-gyum

South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young-se speaks at the inaugural meeting of the committee on promoting human rights in North Korea held at the government complex in Seoul on March 10, 2023. (Photo- Ministry of Unification)
The South Korean unification minister will visit Japan at the official invitation of the Japanese government to discuss ways to enhance coordination on North Korean issues, including North Korean abductions of South Korean and Japanese people.

Unification Minister Kwon Young-se is scheduled to meet Japanese government officials and lawmakers during his four-day trip to Japan that begins Wednesday, South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced Monday.

The trip essentially aims to upgrade bilateral cooperation on unification and North Korea policy, including Yoon Suk Yeol government’s “Audacious Initiative,” to a higher level.

Kwon’s visit comes around a week after the summit between leaders of South Korea and Japan on March 16 in Tokyo.

The unification minister’s trip is therefore intended to “strengthen understanding of the Japanese government and public on our government’s unification and North Korea policy based on the achievements of the summit,” the ministry said.

Kwon will also discuss ways to forge bilateral cooperation notably on the issues of North Korean human rights, including South Korean and Japanese people abducted by North Korea.

Kwon is the first South Korean unification minister invited by the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s invitation program for ministers. The invitation was conveyed via Japan’s Embassy in Seoul in December last year.