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Unification minister to visit Germany next week

Unification Minister Kwon Young-se speaks to lawmakers at the National Assembly in western Seoul in this file pool photo taken last Monday. (Yonhap)
Unification Minister Kwon Young-se speaks to lawmakers at the National Assembly in western Seoul in this file pool photo taken last Monday. (Yonhap)

South Korea's top point man on North Korea will visit Germany next week to seek support for Seoul's regional peace and denuclearization efforts, his office said Thursday.

Unification Minister Kwon Young-se plans to leave for Germany on Sunday for a four-day trip at the invitation of the German government, according to the ministry. It would be his first overseas trip since taking office in May.

Kwon is scheduled to attend a ceremony in the eastern city of Erfurt on Monday to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of Germany's unification, it said.

The next day, he will pay a courtesy call on President Frank-Walter Steinmeier with a plan to request Berlin's proactive interest and cooperation on efforts for North Korea's denuclearization and the peaceful unification of the peninsula, the ministry added.

Last month, the Yoon Suk-yeol administration unveiled some details of its "audacious initiative" designed to help Pyongyang improve its economy in return for denuclearization steps, although the North has rejected the offer through a statement from the influential sister of the North's leader Kim Jong-un. (Yonhap)

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