The South Korean Prime Minister, Lee Wan Koo, declared on the 25th that the government needs to consider a South Korean
version of the freikauf scheme, which means the “buying of
freedom,” in the German language.
Before East and West Germany reunified in
1990, the West German government paid East Germany to
repatriate political dissident prisoners detained there. Shim Jae Kwon, a
lawmaker of New Politics Alliance, a leading opposition party, said in an
interpellation session that South Korea also needs to employ this same mechanism to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which Lee declared worthy of consideration.
Lee also underscored the need to safeguard
South Korean citizens’ safety before opening Mount
Geumgang resort up to tourism again. He also stated his belief that family
reunions among elderly citizens of the two Koreas, who have been separated
since the end of the Korean War, can resume if the inter-Korean relationship
Another issue Lee mentioned as appearing on his agenda is attempting to strike a compromise between freedom of private organizations that send anti-Pyongyang
leaflets to North Korea and the safety in the citizens around the areas
residing around the launch areas.
In regard to the pending law in the South
Korean National Assembly aimed at protecting North Korean human rights, Lee
called for measures that actually ensure these rights–namely compromise to
reach a consensus between the ruling and opposition parties, which the government
can employ to take the appropriate steps.