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2023 Ministry of Unification Work Plan

writer
조현선
created
2023-01-27
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1386

 

– 2023 Ministry of Unification Work Plan –

January 27, 2023

 

□ On January 27, Unification Minister Kwon Youngse reported to the President on the 2023 Work Plan of the Ministry of Unification (MOU) jointly with the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, and the Ministry of Personnel Management at the Blue House.

o Under the slogan, “Reliable welfare system for patriots and veterans, a safer country for the people, and united efforts for unification,” the Work Plan was joined by 159 participants, including 10 people in the field of unification, along with officials from the Office of the President, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, and the Ministry of Personnel Management.

o Following the work plan, panel discussions were held on the future of unification. People of the younger generation and a German citizen who experienced unified Germany enjoyed active discussions on the necessity and feasibility of unification and preparations for a unified future.

□ Unification Minister Kwon Youngse proposed the major directions for unification work in 2023, - “establishing inter-Korean relations based on democratic order” and “preparing for a unified future,”- and announced the Ministry’s seven main tasks.

o In particular, Minister Kwon Youngse promised the Ministry’s unwavering efforts to pursue a denuclearized, peaceful, and prosperous Korean Peninsula in the face of challenging outlook in inter-Korean relations.


□ The Ministry of Unification presented the following seven main tasks.


□ First, the Ministry will proceed to fully implement the Audacious Initiative.

o The Ministry will strengthen the comprehensive approach of Deterrence, Dissuasion, and Dialogue (3Ds) on North Korea's denuclearization, which has been maintained since the inauguration of the Yoon Suk Yeol government while bringing North Korea into dialogue.

- Based on the solid ROK–U.S. alliance, the Ministry will deter North Korea’s provocations, and make overwhelming and immediate response in case of provocations. In addition, the Ministry will dissuade North Korea from nuclear development by reinforcing the implementation of sanctions and pushing ahead with unilateral sanctions.

- At the same time, the Ministry will continue to make efforts to create an environment to induce North Korea to engage in dialogue.

o To accelerate implementing the Audacious Initiative, the Ministry will flesh out corresponding measures in the political, military, and economic fields in accordance with issues of North Korea’s interest, thus, a prompt implementation is possible once North Korea responds.

o The Ministry will continue to boost partnership and support from at home and abroad for the Audacious Initiative in coordination with related organizations, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Peaceful Unification Advisory Council.


□ Second, the Ministry will promote normalizing inter-Korean relations.

o As a breakthrough in the currently strained inter-Korean relations, the Ministry will seek direct and indirect contacts with North Korea through private and international organizations.

- Along with social and cultural exchanges to restore ethnic homogeneity, the Ministry will seek cooperation in the field of environment including fighting climate change as part of “green détente.”

- When inter-Korean dialogue resumes, the Ministry will prioritize addressing human rights violations and relieving pain caused by division, such as reunions, repatriation, and confirming the whereabouts of separated families, prisoners of war (POWs), detainees, and abductees.

o The Ministry will institute a systematic framework for each sector’s high-level and working-level consultation and implementation between the South and the North.

- The Ministry will form ‘Implementation and Review Committee for Inter-Korean Agreement’ to secure support from international organizations including the United Nations to ensure that what has been agreed upon, the two Koreas will be put into action.

- Meanwhile, the Ministry will create an exchange and cooperation system based on laws and principles, to ensure personal safety and guarantee investment when conducting exchange and cooperation activities with North Korea.


□ Third, the Ministry will strive to promote North Korean human rights.

o The Ministry will actively work with the National Assembly to launch the North Korean Human Rights Foundation, a public–private cooperative platform to improve North Korean human rights. Until the Foundation is established, the Ministry will perform the role of the Foundation* to realize the purpose of the North Korean Human Rights Act.

* The Ministry of Unification supports private organizations’ activities to promote North Korean human rights at an annual amount of 2 billion KRW, and has formed the ‘North Korean Human Rights Foundation Preparatory Committee’ (tentative name) to gather advice on policy direction.

- The Ministry will publish an annual report on status of human rights in North Korea, in both Korean and English, to make the public aware of the reality of human rights in North Korea at home and abroad.

- Considering that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea and the 20th anniversary of the UN Resolution on Human Rights in North Korea, the Ministry will enhance solidarity with the international community, including governments of relevant countries, international organizations, and civil societies, to promote human rights in North Korea.

o In order to uphold the human rights of North Korean residents in a practical manner, the Ministry will maintain a consistent position that humanitarian aid must be considered regardless of political or military circumstances.

- The Ministry will promote humanitarian cooperation in areas that are in urgent need, and possible to cooperate - health care cooperation to support vulnerable groups including infants and children, and cooperation in food and disaster.


□ Fourth, the Ministry will develop a blueprint and strategies for a unified future.

o As a mid- to long-term framework for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, the Ministry will bring forth a new initiative for a unified future.

【New Future Initiative on Unification (tentative name)】
- Formulate a mid- to long-term initiative for inter-Korean relations and international cooperation to take the lead in preparing for a unified future.
- Realize peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula, establish the foundation for free and democratic unification, and secure support from the people and the international community based on the extensive opinions from home and abroad.
- Strive to develop detailed measures during the first half of 2023, and release the final version within the year

- The Ministry will present a vision and direction for peaceful unification based on the basic free and democratic order through realizing universal values encompassing freedom, human rights, communication, and openness. Within the first half of 2023, the Ministry will garner opinions of public and expert and announce the final version by the end of this year.

o Reflecting the changes in the international situation and inter-Korean dynamics, the Ministry will improve the National Community Unification Formulas by 2024, on its 30th anniversary.

o The Ministry will establish the Unification Future Planning Committee, a public–private collaborative platform centered on various experts to play a central role in developing policies for a unified future and in spreading consensus at home and abroad.

【The Unification Future Planning Committee】
- A private advisory body comprised of about 10 gurus under the Minister of Unification that develops discourse on a unified future, proposes policies, and promotes its initiatives at home and abroad.
- Operates with four strategic groups for each sector of politics, military, economy, humanitarian and human rights, and international cooperation.


□ Fifth, the Ministry will reorganize the support system to meet the needs of North Korean defectors.

o The Ministry will make innovative adjustment in related organizations to better focus on retraining and resettlement to serve the needs of North Korean defectors.

- The Ministry will provide places with better accessibility in areas where there is a large population of North Korean defectors and institute essential retraining and resettlement support tailored to their needs.

- Centering on Korea Hana Foundation, the Ministry will unify the local service system and concentrate on key areas including support for education, jobs, and vulnerable groups.

【Retraining and Resettlement curriculum of the Settlement Support Center for North Korean Refugees (Hanawon)】
- Operate retraining and resettlement program to help North Korean defectors settle in the South Korean society.
- Provide vocational training opportunity and financial incentives to encourage graduates to get a decent and productive job.

o The Ministry will lay out a systematic risk management system to preemptively respond to North Korean defectors in vulnerable situations.

- The Ministry will directly monitor on a regular basis about 1,200 North Korean defectors who are at risk of failing to receive welfare services and create a customized trauma treatment system, thereby assisting in creating social network for North Korean defectors.

【Establish trauma treatment system and strengthen social network】
- Establish a mental health support center with psychiatric specialists at Hanawon and connect those who need medical service to relevant institutions for corresponding symptoms
- For mild cases, counseling will be provided at diverse local facilities.
- For severe cases, medical expense of 7 million KRW will be supported by the Korea Hana Foundation for specialized medical services.
- Ensures emotional support for North Korean defectors through their local communities and social network.
- Support volunteer activities at local level and help operate a place for communication in areas with large population of North Korean defectors.


□ Sixth, the Ministry will establish a perspective on unification and North Korea based on the basic free and democratic order.

o The Ministry will strengthen unification education based on liberal democracy.

- The Ministry will reflect the Constitutional value of “peaceful unification based on the basic free and democratic order” in educational content, and expand lectures and education delivered by North Korean defectors to spread North Korea’s reality at home and abroad.

- The Ministry will establish a hub for unification education in regional areas together with schools and designated areas in the community, and develop digital unification education platforms and contents, including metaverse that younger generations are acquainted with.

【Plan to establish a hub for unification education】
- Encourage joint projects among unification education institutions and other relevant organizations and promote active engagement through unification-related events including seminars, competitions, and festivals.
- Develop ways to further collaborate with social and religious organizations to invite them as a regional partner in unification education.

o The Ministry will create synergies by organizing the Unification Education Week and various unification cultural events in May, and raise awareness of peaceful unification through by holding talk sessions with younger generations.

- In addition, the Ministry will hold unification cultural events abroad in collaboration with overseas Korean communities.

o The Ministry will expand the scope of North Korea’s data and offer convenience in accessing the data. Unification Information Resource Center will open in September 2023 in Goyang and this center will serve as a cultural complex of library and history museum on North Korea and unification

- The Ministry will flesh out types of North Korean media including newspapers and broadcast, and the scope and method of disclosure on its contents. Based on consultation with relevant ministries, the Ministry will disclose the Rodong Sinmun on a trial basis.


□ Lastly, the Ministry will reinforce domestic and international capabilities and foundation for unification.

o The Ministry will ensure that private donations from national donors be accumulated and used.

- Under the current system, it is difficult for an elderly displaced person to deposit in Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund donations for his or her hometown in the North. The Ministry will revise Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund Act to ensure the funds be accumulated and used as intended by donors.

【Amendment of Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund Act】
- (Current system) Private donations are added to the government fund rather than being classified separately. The unused amount of the year is transferred to the government fund of the following year, unfulfilling the intentions of the donors.
- (Direction for revision) The Ministry will establish a separate account for private donations within the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund where donors can deposit and accumulate their contributions. The improved system will reflect the donors’ intentions as much as possible in spending the deposited donations at a desired time with purposes.

o Centering around the first regional Unification+ Center which is to be opened in September 2023 in Mokpo, the Ministry will provide comprehensive administrative services of unification by integrating local infrastructure related to unification including Regional Unification Hall, and Hana Center.

* The Ministry plans to establish Unification+ Center in six regions across the nation every year by 2026.

【Plans to promote Unification+ Center】
□ Establish Unification+ Center by region, promote integration of local infrastructure related to unification.
o Starting with the opening of the center in Honam area in 2023, the Ministry plans to establish centers in Gangwon, Gyeonggi, Chungcheong, Yeongnam, and Jeju by 2026.
* (2018) Incheon *pilot project → (2023) Honam → (2024-25) Gangwon, Gyeonggi, Chungcheong → (2026) Yeongnam, Jeju
o The Ministry plans to collect opinions from various players in the society including communities of North Korean defectors and local governments to come up with the best measures on integrating and connecting local unification infrastructure.
*Unification Hall (13 locations) : Operate experiential exhibition programs for unification education.
*Hana Center (25 locations) : Provide community-oriented services for North Korean defectors to adapt to local communities.

o The Ministry will focus on the cases of unification and integration including those of Germany, EU, and Vietnam to reflect them in policy making. Korea Global Forum will be held in Seoul on the 70th anniversary of the armistice to enhance interest and garner support of the international community on unification.

【Case studies on unification and integration】
o Conduct intensive research on policy cases of ASEAN and EU countries including Germany and Vietnam to reflect them in development of unification and North Korea policies.
- In addition to organizing Korea-Germany Unification Advisory Committee, the Ministry will promote cooperation to share historical experiences in the post-unification process of reform and opening in Vietnam.
o Launch cooperation program between Ministry of Unification and Vietnam as the flagship project
- Establish cooperative relations with local research institutes in Vietnam to develop ‘Archives of integration and reform & opening-up cases in Vietnam’ and operate ‘ROK-Vietnam Advisory Committee on Reform and Opening-up’.
- Promote identification, collection and research of Vietnam’s data on policies related to international investment, financial support, education, and women.
o Take the lead in developing a comprehensive summary of case studies on unification and integration for each country and sector.
- Integrate existing case studies to develop them at a more systematized level, disclose and disseminate related data.
- Continue to identify areas in need of further research, conduct systematic research under mid- to long-term plans.
- Establish a collaborative system with relevant (research) institutions at home and abroad and promote efficient division of roles.
- Establish a system to develop unification and North Korea policies actively reflecting outcomes of case studies on unification and integration, enhance the specificity and acceptability of the policies.

□ "Denuclearized, peaceful, and prosperous Korean Peninsula" requires united will and strength. In 2023, the Ministry of Unification will make unwavering efforts with the people of Korea toward a unified Korea in the future.  //The End//

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