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NORTH KOREA NEWSLTTER NO. 234 (Nov. 1, 2012)

North Korean Patrol Boat Briefly Violates Western Sea Border

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- A North Korean patrol boat retreated after briefly crossing the west sea border into South Korea on Oct. 25, the South's military officials said.

   "A North Korean patrol boat crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) and sailed up to 0.36 kilometers into waters east of South Korea's Baengnyeong Island at about 11 a.m. while trying to cracking down on Chinese fishing boats illegally operating there," one of the officials said.

   The Northern vessel retreated at around 11:07 a.m. after warning signs were broadcast by the South Korean military, the officials said.

   About 70 Chinese fishing boats were in operation nearby and there has been no indication of unusual moves from the North, they added.


Unification Minister Calls for China's Cooperation in Unification Efforts

BEIJING (Yonhap) -- South Korea's much-wanted unification with North Korea will be more beneficial to China than the two remaining in a stable state of division, Seoul's unification minister said on Oct. 30 in Beijing, calling for China's cooperation in unification efforts.

   "China needs a proactive perception that unification of the Korean Peninsula will be a benefit to the country as well as a blessing to South Korea and East Asia," Minister Yu Woo-ik said in a speech at a forum in Beijing organized by South Korean think-tank Korea Institute for National Unification.

   The widespread idea that only stably managing to keep the peninsula divided is beneficial to neighboring China is not worthwhile, Yu said, urging cooperation from China and other neighboring countries.

   "The unification of the Korean Peninsula should surely be led by South and North Koreas themselves, but it can only be achieved smoothly and effectively when neighboring countries cooperate because they all have interlocking interests in it," he said
As part of increasing efforts to unify with the North, Seoul will continue to push for denuclearization of the peninsula as well as raising unification funds and stepping up support for North Korean defectors settling in the South, the minister also noted.

   The death of former North leader Kim Jong-il last December could have been a major turning point for the reclusive country but "the North failed to take courage for a change," Yu said, denouncing the communist country's inaction toward the world's negotiation efforts to help it discard its nuclear programs and open up to the international community.
"The South-North relations are now having ups and downs, but Seoul will not stop trying to talk to the country and leave the window for an opportunity open for the North," Yu said.

   Also on Oct. 30, Yu met with China's Foreign Affairs Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing as part of his three-day visit to the country.

   During their one-hour meeting, the ministers shared the opinion that South Korean and Chinese relations have improved extraordinarily over the past 20 years of diplomatic ties and they pledged to increase efforts to jointly safeguard the peace and stability of the peninsula and the North East Asian region, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

   Yu highlighted Seoul's ever-increasing endeavor to unify the two Koreas, the ministry said. Yu is scheduled to return home later Oct. 30.