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‘Unification jars’ latest effort to raise funds

The Unification Ministry on Monday unveiled six ceramic jars that emblemize its drive to boost public awareness and raise funds to prepare for unification with North Korea.

Minister Yu Woo-ik on Saturday took part in the glaze firing of the so-called “unification jars” on the last leg of a 40-day course with a renowned potter Kim Jeong-ok in Mungyeong, North Gyeongsang Province.

The white porcelain vessels are a symbol of Yu’s ongoing campaign to create a “unification account” to bankroll a future integration with the North. The aim is to supplement government seed money with voluntary contributions by the public.
Minister of Unification Yu Woo-ik (right) and potter Kim Jeong-ok carry one of the six unification jars in Mungyeong, North Gyeongsang Province on Saturday. (Ministry of Unification)
Minister of Unification Yu Woo-ik (right) and potter Kim Jeong-ok carry one of the six unification jars in Mungyeong, North Gyeongsang Province on Saturday. (Ministry of Unification)

“As the jars become filled, we will build confidence for the young generations, bring new hope to North Korean citizens, and show our will on unification to other countries,” Yu was quoted as saying by Spokesperson Kim Hyung-suk.

One of the jars is placed at the ministry’s headquarters in central Seoul and the remainder will be distributed based on their needs and public attention, Kim added.

The minister also called on the National Assembly to make bipartisan efforts to pass a related bill, which was scrapped last year amid partisan bickering.

The ministry has recently proposed the bill again, which calls for accumulating around 50 trillion won ($43.4 billion) by 2030 under the South-North Cooperation Fund.

Despite cross-border tension following an April rocket launch, Yu has been stressing that the South Korean government should formulate policies to be pursued consistently and independently regardless of swings in inter-Korean relations, shifting from the long-standing focus on bilateral exchanges, cooperation and talks.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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