Unification minister to visit Germany next week

SEOUL– South Korea’s top point man on North Korea will visit Germany next week to seek support for Seoul’s regional peace and denuclearization efforts, his office said Thursday.

Unification Minister Kwon Young-se plans to leave for Germany on Sunday for a four-day trip at the invitation of the German government, according to the ministry. It would be his first overseas trip since taking office in May.

Kwon is scheduled to attend a ceremony in the eastern city of Erfurt on Monday to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of Germany’s unification, it said.

The next day, he will pay a courtesy call on President Frank-Walter Steinmeier with a plan to request Berlin’s proactive interest and cooperation on efforts for North Korea’s denuclearization and the peaceful unification of the peninsula, the ministry added.

During the trip, the minister also plans to meet with Horst Teltschik, who served as foreign policy adviser to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and give a special lecture at the Free University of Berlin on Seoul’s policy on Pyongyang.

Kwon’s upcoming visit to Germany comes as the Yoon Suk-yeol administration is seeking to drum up international support for its “audacious initiative” designed to help Pyongyang improve its economy in return for denuclearization steps. It unveiled some details of the project last month, but the North soon rejected the offer through a statement from Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of the North’s leader Kim Jong-un.

Source: Yonhap News Agency