South Korea’s Yoon urges Unification Ministry to be less lenient to the North

SEOUL (Reuters) – After appointing a new unification minister days earlier, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Sunday the ministry had focused too much on helping North Korea in the past and needed to change, Yonhap News Agency reported.

New minister Kim Yung-ho is a conservative scholar and outspoken critic of North Korea’s human rights abuses, which Yoon has sought to bring to light amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

“The Unification Ministry acted as the North Korea Aid Ministry and it is wrong,” Yoon told staff in a statement released by his press secretary. “It is time for the Unification Ministry to change.”

According to the report, Yoon urged the ministry to uphold liberal democratic values ​​and said unification should bring a “better and more humane life” to people in the South and North.

In 2019, Kim wrote in an online column that the path to unification would open once “the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is overthrown and North Korea is liberated.”

(Reporting by Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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