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article imageNorth Korean Ministry Might Get 'Shut Down' In Seoul

By Can Tran     Jan 16, 2008 in World
Lee Myung-bak, the President-elect of South Korea wants to scrap the ministry that handles relations with North Korea according to what his aides have said. He advocates a tougher stand on North Korea.
When he takes office of South Korea’s president on February 25, Lee Myung-bak will merge together the Unification Ministry and the Foreign Ministry. He will also downgrade four other ministries as part of what he calls a pledge to streamline South Korea’s government.
However, he had advocated a tougher stance towards North Korea. So far, the Unification Ministry has been accused of being too soft on the Communist country.
Currently, the Unification Ministry handles all inter-Korean relations while the Foreign Ministry deals with negotiations on the nuclear issue. Both agencies have clashed in the past. The Unification Ministry is accused of being soft, while the Foreign Ministry prefers a tougher line.
In light of inter-Korean relations becoming closer day by day, unification policy cannot be a monopoly of a certain ministry,” according to Lee Kyung-sook who is the chief of Lee’s transition team.
“All government agencies and ministries should make efforts to improve inter-Korean relations but consistency should be maintained in the framework of foreign policy,” he added.
Currently, the nuclear talks have stalled after North Korea missed a year-end deadline to fully disclose all nuclear activities.
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