North Korea to send delegation to World Taekwondo Championships on June 24

Posted on : 2017-06-16 13:54 KST Modified on : 2017-06-16 13:54 KST
National Intelligence Service says that inter-Korean relations could be restored under the right conditions
National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon speaks at a meeting of the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee
National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon speaks at a meeting of the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee

North Korea has decided to send its taekwondo demonstration team to the World Taekwondo Championships, which will be held in Muju, North Jeolla Province, on June 24. While reporting this to the National Assembly, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director Suh Hoon said that the right conditions could lead to the resumption of inter-Korean exchange in the future.

On June 15, Suh said during a meeting with members of the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee that North Korea had indicated that a 32-member demonstration team would be attending the World Taekwondo Championships in Muju under the leadership of Jang Woong, North Korean delegate to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), according to Lee Wan-yeong, a lawmaker with the Liberty Korea Party who is on the committee.

“Since Moon Jae-in’s inauguration as president, North Korea has been asking for a complete reversal of our North Korea policy, including the revocation of the shutdown of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. While the malaria prevention program by the Korean Sharing Movement and the peace conference by religious figures did not pan out, these were not cancelled but rather put on hold, and they could still be renegotiated if the right conditions are in place,” the NIS said.

In regard to the North Korean drone that was recently discovered in Inje, Gangwon Province, the NIS said the drone had two cylinders attached to it, making it larger than the drone that was found on Baengnyeong Island in March 2014, and that its flight range had increased to 600 km. The drone had taken more than 500 photos of the Seongju golf course where components of the THAAD missile system have been deployed, as well as military bases in Gangwon Province.

Suh also reported that North Korea is focusing on collecting information on a US “decapitation strike” against Kim Jong-un. “Kim Jong-un is focused on digging up information about the decapitation strike. He goes out in the early morning hours when he goes out at all, and when he leaves the capital, he rides in his subordinates’ Lexus instead of his personal Mercedes-Benz 600,” the NIS said, as related by Lee Wan-yeong and Lee Cheol-woo, chair of the committee.

“Kim Jong-un has made 51 public appearances, which is 32% fewer than the same period last year. He has been appearing less often in public since 2013, which means that he has already succeeded at establishing his rule,” Suh said.

Such also addressed President Moon’s pledge to dismantle the agency’s domestic intelligence department. “We’re going to strengthen our anti-communist, counterespionage, industrial security and counterterrorism operations, but we will halt all domestic intelligence gathering that could be mistaken for political meddling,” Suh reported.

By Kim Tae-gyu and Kim Nam-il, staff reporters

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