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Korea JoongAng Daily

Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho on Monday asked for U.S. lawmakers’ bipartisan cooperation and support for South Korea’s efforts to seek peaceful unification with North Korea.

Kim made the remark during his meeting with visiting members of the U.S. Congressional Study Group on Korea (CSGK), a bipartisan study group on South Korea, amid tensions heightened by North Korea’s weapons tests.

South Korea plans to unveil a new unification vision based on the principle of liberal democracy, as President Yoon Suk Yeol stressed that unification is precisely “what is needed to expand the universal values of freedom and human rights.”

“We ask for your cooperation and support for South Korea’s efforts to establish unification based on freedom and peace,” Kim said at the meeting with the CSGK members.

Korean American Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) said the issue of unification between South and North Korea is “deeply personal and very important” to her.

“However, it’s worrisome… that Kim Jong-un has really thrown away any possibility of peaceful unification and has ramped up the aggression with the firing of the missiles,” she said, voicing concerns that North Korea seems to be “less interested in peaceful engagement with South Korea.”

Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), stressed the need for the United States and South Korea to work together for bringing peace and prosperity to the Korean Peninsula and the world.

At a year-end party meeting, the North’s leader Kim defined inter-Korean ties as relations between “two states hostile to each other” and called for preparations to occupy the South Korean territory in the event of a war.

Separately, Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul also met with the delegation and urged their “continued attention” on the Korean Peninsula.

Cho stressed the government will continue its efforts for unification even though the North has labeled the South as a hostile country and said it will no longer seek unification.

Cho also expressed concerns about the growing cooperation between North Korea and Russia not only on the military front but also in the political and economic sectors, his office said in a press release.

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