Spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Affairs Soosuk Lim
November 1, 2022 14:30 KST
Good afternoon. I start today’s briefing with a heavy heart.
The Korean government conveys deepest condolences to all those deceased in the incident that happened last weekend, and extends its deep sympathy to the bereaved families here and abroad. The government also wishes for an early recovery of the injured.
The Korean government will provide all possible support to the foreign victims in the same way as the Korean victims.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assigned an official to every deceased and injured foreigner to take all necessary measures including ways to facilitate the prompt entry into Korea of the bereaved families of those deceased and to assist them with funeral procedures.
In the course of this, the Foreign Ministry is consulting closely with the relevant foreign embassies in Korea and Korea’s overseas diplomatic missions.
Since the outbreak of the incident, 116 countries and international organizations have conveyed condolences. The government and the people of Korea express gratitude to the international community for its warm sympathy and sharing of the Korean people’s grief.
The Foreign Ministry will continue to make utmost efforts until all the procedures have been completed in relation to the incident.
Moving on, I will share with you the Korean government’s position on the statement issued today by the spokesperson of the North Korean Foreign Ministry.
North Korea has been intensely escalating nuclear threats by indicating possible preemptive use of tactical nuclear weapons through the adoption of its nuclear policy law on September 8 and relevant remarks by Chairman Kim Jong-un.
The ongoing annual defensive military exercises by the Republic of Korea and the United States under these circumstances are measures that should rightfully be taken by a responsible government in order for the Korean people to feel assured and carry on with their daily lives.
North Korea is attempting to shift the responsibility for the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula to the ROK and the U.S., but the entire international community is aware of who is posing nuclear and missile threats to neighboring countries and who is staging an unprecedented level of provocations in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The ROK government finds it very regrettable that North Korea indicated the possibility of further provocations by referring to “more powerful follow-up measures.”
The ROK government will make firm and united responses to all North Korean provocations in coordination with the international community, while maintaining the ironclad ROK-U.S. combined defense posture.
Once again, the ROK government strongly urges North Korea to immediately stop its unlawful provocations, respond positively to the ROK government’s Audacious Initiative and return to denuclearization talks.
Lastly, a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was tabled by the EU yesterday (local time) at the 77th UN General Assembly Third Committee.
The Korean government signed as a co-sponsor of the resolution, after actively taking part in the consultations on its text.
The human rights situation in North Korea should be dealt with as a universal human rights issue, in a principle-based and consistent manner. Based on this position, the Korean government is actively participating in the discussions of the international community, including the UN, to promote human rights in North Korea.
(A question-and-answer session followed.)