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Seoul voices concerns over false foreign reports' impact on inter-Korean ties

South Korea on Friday expressed concerns that some foreign media outlets' "groundless" reports could hamper inter-Korean relations, apparently pointing to a Japanese report on Seoul's alleged attempt to implement regime change in North Korea.

Japan's Asahi Shimbun said Monday that the administration of former South Korean Park Geun-hye attempted to change the North Korean regime, including a possible plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


"There are concerns that some erroneous reports by some foreign news outlets can spur unnecessary misunderstanding and tensions on inter-Korean ties or Seoul-Washington relations," Lee Eugene, vice spokesperson at Seoul's unification ministry, told a regular press briefing.

Lee said that the ministry will make efforts to clearly let issues of interests known on the basis of facts.

In an apparent angry reaction to Japan's report, North Korea threatened Wednesday to execute Park and her spy chief over its alleged plot to kill its leader, calling on the South to hand them over to the North.

South Korea's intelligence agency dismissed Japan's report as groundless.

The ministry, meanwhile, reiterated that it will make efforts to improve inter-Korean ties to an extent that the move would not hamper the international sanctions regime.

The United States blacklisted the Bank of Dandong, a Chinese bank, as a "primary money laundering concern" Thursday for helping North Korea access the U.S. and the international financial system. Two individuals and a shipping firm were also put on a sanctions list.

The ministry said that the government will continue to join the sanctions regime against the North, but it will also make efforts to improve strained relations with the North.

"The government will seek to mend ties with North Korea, including (the resumption of) civilian exchanges within the boundary of the sanctions regime as strained inter-Korean ties are not normal," Lee added. (Yonhap)