Summary of inter-Korean news this week

SEOUL, Nov. 26 (Yonhap) — The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

End-of-war declaration a ‘good starting point’ to address N.K. security concerns: unification minister

SEOUL — South Korea’s unification minister on Friday pitched the proposed declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War as a “good starting point” in the search for a “meaningful” solution to address North Korea’s security concerns.

Unification Minister Lee In-young made the remarks as Seoul is pushing for the political declaration in a bid to create fresh momentum to reengage with Pyongyang and resume its stalled initiative for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Over half of S. Koreans say inter-Korean summit at Beijing Olympics not possible: poll

SEOUL — More than half of South Koreans believe an inter-Korean summit at the Beijing Winter Olympics, slated for February, will not be possible, a survey showed Friday.

According to the survey on 1,000 adults by the Peaceful Unification Advisory Council on Nov. 20 and 21, 53.9 percent said an inter-Korean summit during the Winter Olympics would not be possible, while 40.1 percent said it would be.

Seoul monitoring possibility of new N.K. event marking 2017 ICBM launch

SEOUL — South Korea is closely monitoring the possibility of North Korea holding an event celebrating its 2017 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a unification ministry official said Thursday.

North Korea’s calendars began to mark Nov. 29 as an anniversary for its “rocket” development this year. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared the completion of the country’s nuclear force after firing the new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, on the day in 2017.

S. Korea completes excavation of war remains in White Horse Ridge of DMZ

SEOUL — South Korea has recovered dozens of bone fragments presumed to be of troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War during excavation work on a former battle site, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

The military completed its excavation project in White Horse Ridge located inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas.

End-of-war declaration, Beijing Olympics are separate issues: minister

SEOUL — South Korea’s push to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War and the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing are two separate issues, a top official in charge of inter-Korean relations said Wednesday, amid concerns that the U.S. move to boycott the games could throw a wet blanket on Seoul’s peace initiative.

Unification Minister Lee In-young made the remark during a press conference in Seoul, after U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday that Washington was mulling a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in February.

Family of assassinated N. Korean defector requests state panel probe

SEOUL — The bereaved family of a prominent North Korean defector, who was assassinated in South Korea more than two decades ago, has formally asked a state reconciliation panel here to look into the truth behind his killing, a civic group official said Tuesday.

In 1997, Lee Han-young, nephew of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s estranged wife Song Hye-rim, was shot by a North Korean agent in front of his apartment on the outskirts of Seoul, 15 years after he defected to the South. Lee died 10 days after the incident.