- Press Briefings
Spokesperson's Press Briefing (Sept. 20, 2012)
Good afternoon. Let me start today’s briefing.
Today I will make two announcements and then take your questions.
From September 25, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will allow 27 of its diplomatic missions to issue certificates of family relations to applicants of nationality of the Republic of Korea through the certified e-mail system.
This is an extension of the trial service we have been providing in collaboration with the Supreme Court since April 30 in three overseas diplomatic posts, including the Embassy of the ROK in Thailand, to 24 missions beginning from September 25.
In the past, applicants usually had to wait more than a month after submitting applications for certificates of family relations in person until they could pick them up at diplomatic missions. However, this period will be shortened to a day or two with the certified e-mail system in place.
This is expected to greatly improve the convenience of ROK nationals in obtaining their certificates and helping them use the certificates in a timely manner.
The Foreign Ministry, in close cooperation with the Supreme Court, will seek to have all of its diplomatic missions provide this service.
Next, the validity of ROK-issued driver’s licenses will be recognized in the US State of West Virginia.
The governments of the ROK and the US State of West Virginia agreed to mutually recognize the validity of driver’s licenses issued by the other side.
In accordance with this decision, Yoon Soon-ku, Consul-General of the ROK Embassy to the US, will sign the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Driver’s Licenses at 1:00 a.m. on September 20 (Korea Standard Time) and on September 20 at 10:00 a.m. (US Eastern Time) with Commissioner Joe E. Miller of Division of Motor Vehicles of West Virginia. This agreement will take effect immediately.
We expect the Agreement will bring improved convenience for both citizens either living in or traveling in the ROK and West Virginia.
The ROK government will continuously work to achieve recognition of the validity of the ROK-issued driver’s licenses in other US states as well as countries with an increasing presence of ROK nationals.
This is all for my opening statement.
Q: You have just mentioned that certificates of family relations will be issued via the certified e-mail system at 27 diplomatic missions. In which countries are those 27 missions?
A: The service has been offered on a pilot basis at the Embassy in Thailand and the Consulate Generals in Sydney and San Paolo. The service will also be available at the Embassy and eleven other missions in the US; the Embassy and eight other missions in China; and the Embassies in Australia, the UK and Brazil.
Q: Negotiations are underway to revise the ROK-US Missile Guidelines. According to a press report, the two sides nearly agreed to extend the missile range to 800 kilometers from the previous 550 and keep the missile payload unchanged at the current 500 kilograms. Is this true?
A: As I told you before in this regard, the negotiations are still ongoing, with no final agreement yet. Please understand that I cannot tell you anything further at this point. We will let you know as soon as an agreement has been reached.
Q: Are you saying that the information in the report is incorrect or that you cannot discuss it?
A: I cannot discuss it.
Q: I would like to ask a question regarding Mr. Kim Young-hwan.
I heard that a session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is underway in Switzerland and will continue until late September. When does the Foreign Ministry plan to raise the Mr. Kim issue? Could you tell us that?
A: To my knowledge, Mr. Kim has already filed his case with the UNHRC through the individual petition system and notified the results of his medical examination to the Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention, who has received and is currently reviewing his case.
As I understand it, under the due process, China will be notified and given an opportunity to be heard. Upon the completion of the entire process, the Special Rapporteur will make a conclusion.
Q: I have a further question in that regard. The Committee on the Torture of Kim Young-hwan has issued a press release today on its plan to delay submitting a petition to the UN Special Rapporteur. Are you saying then that Mr. Kim filed his case with a different organization?
A: I wasn’t aware that such a plan has been announced today. As we understand it, though, he already went ahead with the referral in May and submitted additional materials at a later date.
As I told you a little ago, the Special Rapporteur, who received the case, is following the due procedure to handle it.
Q: I have a further question regarding Mr. Kim. As just said, the Committee on the Torture of Kim Young-hwan announced its plan to delay submitting his petition to the UN. I understand that the relevant National Assembly resolution has been delivered to the Foreign Ministry. I would like to know what has been done with regard to the resolution.
A: We have instructed our diplomatic mission to deliver it to the UNHRC. As for whether it has already been handed over, I will check and let you know.