Archive for the ‘Korean Confederation of Trade Unions’ Category

ROK denies labor groups’ visit to DPRK

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

According to Yonhap:

South Korea has turned down a request by two umbrella labor unions to visit North Korea for talks with their counterparts, an official said Thursday, attesting to ongoing hostilities between the sides.

South Korea’s two main umbrella unions — the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions — applied for permission earlier this week to send four of their members to the North Korean border town of Kaesong for talks with their northern counterparts. They hoped to discuss possibilities for another general meeting among their members, the last of which was held in 2007 before inter-Korean relations grew tense.

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, which handles inter-Korean affairs, rejected the visit planned for Thursday, citing a breach of regulations enforced after last year’s deadly sinking of a South Korean warship. Seoul blames Pyongyang for the March torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors, an allegation that the North vehemently denies.

“Not only is it required by law to apply for permission at least a week in advance, but our nationals are currently prohibited from visiting North Korea” under a set of post-attack measures that also ban cross-border trade, a ministry official said on customary condition of anonymity.

The two labor groups were informed of the decision on Wednesday, he added.

In protest, the KCTU held a rally outside the main government complex in Seoul earlier in the day, saying the ministry denied “the earnest request of workers from the South and North who long for peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

“We will achieve a South-North workers’ general meeting at all costs even if we can’t be together in one place,” the KCTU said in a statement, indicating it may issue a joint statement with its North Korean counterparts after holding separate meetings in Seoul and Pyongyang.

The South Koren government has been allowing some private aid to be delivered to th DPRK.

Read the full story here:
Gov’t rejects labor groups’ request to visit N. Korea


Rice on the way, but still no tangerines

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Although the South’s annual tangerine shipment to the DPRK has been suspended reduced (and Seould has suspended direct financial support), food aid from other South Korean groups continues unabated.  According to Yonhap:

The Korea Peasants League said they have arranged to have a ship collect rice from across the country at ports along the coast. The boat left the southern island of Jeju on Monday and will depart from the port of Incheon, west of Seoul, on Friday. It will likely arrive at the North Korean port of Nampo on the same day if weather conditions at sea are normal, they said.

Non-governmental aid has continued amid the political stalemate. The South Korean government suspended its customary food and fertilizer aid to the impoverished state last year as North Korea cut off dialogue and intensified an anti-Seoul media tirade.

A Seoul-based Buddhist organization, the Jungto Society, shipped food aid worth 380 million won (US$293,436) intended for mothers and children in North Korea last week.

This week’s shipment by the Peasants League includes some 60 tons of rice donated by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, a labor umbrella group. The union group and the farmers are calling for legislation that would implement the regular delivery of rice aid to North Korea.

Read the full article here:
S. Korean farmers to send rice to N. Korea amid frozen relations