North and South Korea, after two decades of rivalry and hostility, today (Tuesday) announced dramatic moves towards eventual reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
ws news conference
CIA director Hu-rak Lee speaking - various shots
Seoul street scenes
Newspapers sold announcing reunification moves
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Background: North and South Korea, after two decades of rivalry and hostility, today (Tuesday) announced dramatic moves towards eventual reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Secret emissaries visited Seoul and the northern capital of Pyongyang in May to agree that unification should be achieved through "independent Korean efforts" without external imposition or interference.
However, at a news conference in Seoul today, the Director of the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency, Mr. Hu-rak Lee, said South Korea still believed the United Nations could play a role in bringing about reunification.
It was Mr. Hu-rak Lee who opened up the secret dialogue with the north during a visit to Pyongyang in early May for talks with Premier Kim Il-sung and his brother Young-Joo Kim, an influential communist party leader. This was reciprocated by the visit to Seoul in late May by North Korea's second Vice-Premier, Mr. Sung-chul Park.
At his news conference, Mr. Lee said that South Korea no longer need call north Korea the "northern puppet" of alien communists. Newspaper editors were later told they might now call the north "North Korea".
Existing South Korean laws prohibit any acts of communicating, supporting and praising North Korea. Mr. Lee said his Pyongyang visits had been made with the authority of president Chung-hee Park.
The CIA director added he hoped changes and supplements could be made in South Korea's legal system to adapt to the new era.