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South Korea to move forward with plans for unification

Inter-Korean relations will be expanded in 2015, a South Korean government official said.

By
Elizabeth Shim
A committee on inter-Korea unification headed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye will move forward with planning that will take two to three years, a South Korean government official said Tuesday. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
A committee on inter-Korea unification headed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye will move forward with planning that will take two to three years, a South Korean government official said Tuesday. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, March 4 (UPI) -- A committee headed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye plans to finish preparatory work for Korean unification in two to three years, the committee's vice chief said Tuesday.

Public hearings on the unification charter will be held in late March, South Korea's Korea Herald reported.

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Inter-Korean relations will be expanded in 2015, Chung Chong-wook told lawmakers in the South Korean governing party of Saenuri, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Korean independence from Japanese rule.

Tuesday's announcement comes after South Korea launched a 50-member committee in mid-2014 that included the heads of South Korea's unification and foreign ministries.

On Sunday, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan in response to the launch of joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea.

The Korea Economic Daily said analysts believe the tensions that weigh heavily on North-South relations could limit the effectiveness of South Korea's plans.

But the plans will move forward, Chung said.

In a speech delivered in Dresden, Germany, in 2014, the South Korean president said to her German audience, "Korean unification is a matter of historical inevitability."

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The North Korean government also has signaled an interest in a confederation between the two Koreas but continues to defend its nuclear policy.

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