Tue, June 22, 2010
World > Asia-Pacific

S. Korean priest appeals to fulfill June 15 joint declaration

2010-06-22 13:36:54 GMT2010-06-22 21:36:54 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Han Sang Ryol (R), a visiting South Korean priest, speaks at a news conference held in the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), June 22, 2010. Han Sang Ryol appealed Tuesday to South Korean authorities to fulfill the June 15 Joint Declaration issued by DPRK and South Korean leaders a decade ago. (Xinhua/Yao Ximeng)

Han Sang Ryol, a visiting South Korean priest, speaks at a news conference held in the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), June 22, 2010. Han Sang Ryol appealed Tuesday to South Korean authorities to fulfill the June 15 Joint Declaration issued by DPRK and South Korean leaders a decade ago. (Xinhua/Yao Ximeng)

Han Sang Ryol, a visiting South Korean priest, speaks at a news conference held in the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), June 22, 2010. Han Sang Ryol appealed Tuesday to South Korean authorities to fulfill the June 15 Joint Declaration issued by DPRK and South Korean leaders a decade ago. (Xinhua/Yao Ximeng)

PYONGYANG, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Han Sang Ryol, a visiting South Korean priest, appealed Tuesday to South Korean authorities to fulfill the June 15 Joint Declaration issued by DPRK and South Korean leaders a decade ago.

The north and south had realized reconciliation and cooperation under the historic June 15 Joint Declaration, Han said at a news conference held in the People's Palace of Culture here.

However, the South Korean authorities refused to fulfill this declaration and adhered to hostile policy against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), he said.

Han, who has visited Pyongyang more than 40 times, made the current visit without the permission of the South Korean government.

He said he was willing to give his life for the cause of national peace and unification, which would be his "biggest honor."

Han, called "pre-reunification figure" by the DPRK media, arrived here on June 12 and is expected to return to South Korea through the Military Demarcation Line on Aug. 15, the 65th anniversary of the Restoration of Independence of the Korean Peninsula, which marked the end of Japanese occupation.

The joint declaration was issued on June 15, 2000, when then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and top DPRK leader Kim Jong Il held the first inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang.

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