January 24, 2018 / 9:59 PM / in a month

North Korea sends rare announcement to all Koreans, calls for unification

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea sent a rare announcement addressed to “all Koreans at home and abroad” on Thursday, saying they should make a “breakthrough” for unification without the help of other countries, its state media said.

It said all Koreans should “promote contact, travel, cooperation between North and South Korea” while adding Pyongyang will “smash” all challenges against reunification of the Korean peninsula.

The announcement, issued after a joint meeting of government and political parties, added Koreans should wage an energetic drive to defuse the acute military tension and create a peaceful climate on the Korean peninsula.

Military tension on the Korean peninsula was a “fundamental obstacle” for the improvement of inter-Korean relations and unification, the North’s official news agency said.

It added joint military drills with “outside forces” has shown to be unhelpful for the development of relations between North and South Korea.

North Korea did not provide details why the meeting had been held but the statement said it was aimed to support leader Kim Jong Un’s remarks regarding unification from his New Year’s address. It said this year is meaningful for both North and South Korea as it is the 70th anniversary of the founding of North Korea while South Korea will be hosting the Winter Olympics next month.

Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Susan Thomas

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