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통일부 로고통일부 로고

Press Briefings

Regular Briefing by Spokesperson Yoh Sangkey


Date: Monday, July 27, 2020
Time: 10:30-10:35 A.M.

1. Acting Minister's Schedule

Acting Minister Suh Ho will attend the cabinet meeting at 8 A.M. tomorrow.

On July 29, Mr. Suh will deliver congratulatory remarks at a forum scheduled to discuss post-corona inter-Korean cooperation against infectious diseases held at the National Assembly at 7:30 A.M.

On July 30, Mr, Suh will attend the vice-ministers’ conference at 10:30 A.M.

2. Q&A (Extract)

Q. What is the Unification Ministry’s stance regarding the recent finding of a North Korean defector crossing back into the North?

A. We are checking related information together with other government agencies including the military and the police.

Q. Does the Ministry have any plans to conduct a full survey of North Korean defectors that have returned back to the North?

A. I do not have anything to comment on regarding this. I reiterate that the Ministry is checking related information together with other agencies.

Q. Does the Unification Ministry have statistics on the number of defectors re-entering the North?

A. I can give you the numbers, but before doing so, I would like to note that North Korean defectors are not obliged to report to the government when they leave the country, just like any other ROK citizens, making it difficult to locate the whereabouts of each individual.

The number of North Korean defectors that have crossed back into the North in the past five years amount to 11 individuals – three in 2015, four in 2016, and four in 2017. Their crossings have been confirmed through official reports by the North. The current case is not included in the count as it is still undergoing a confirmation process.

Q. Some say that the North’s reporting of the suspected Covid-19 patient shows its intentions to shift responsibility of the spread on to the South. What is the Ministry’s take on this?

A. Checking and confirming the facts on the matter should come first. Identifying who the defector is, and checking if this person is infected with the virus should be the order of procedures.