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DPRK said it wants reunification with South Korea
 
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts as people applaud during his visit to the newly-remodeled Pyongyang Teacher Training College, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on January 17, 2018. Photo: KCNA/via REUTERS
 
North Korea sent a rare announcement addressed to “all Koreans at home and abroad” on Thursday, saying they should make a “breakthrough” for unification without the help of other countries, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
 
It said all Koreans should “promote contact, travel, cooperation between North and South Korea” while adding Pyongyang will “smash” all challenges against reunification of the Korean peninsula.
 
The announcement, issued after a joint meeting of government and political parties, added Koreans should wage an energetic drive to defuse the acute military tension and create a peaceful climate on the Korean peninsula.
 
Military tension on the Korean peninsula was a “fundamental obstacle” for the improvement of inter-Korean relations and unification, the North’s official news agency said.
 
It added joint military drills with “outside forces” has shown to be unhelpful for the development of relations between North and South Korea.
 
Although the statement did not provide details on why the meeting was held, it said the appeal was made in order to support North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's comments about unification that he made earlier this month.
 
The announcement came as 12 North Korean ice hockey players arrived in the South to participate in their first practice as part of a joint women's Olympic team who will compete in next month's Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
 
The two Koreas agreed to have their athletes parade together under a unification flag during the opening ceremony.
 
Tensions have been high on the divided peninsula over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, which have prompted a slew of international sanctions.
 
South Korean President Moon Jae-in's government has rejected criticism that the North is stealing the spotlight from the games, saying the Olympics will help defuse tensions.
 
China’s ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai has said in a recent interview with USA Today that China will support the reunification of the Korean Peninsula as long as it is peaceful, independent, and by the will of the Korean people.
 
“It's up to the Korean people, whether they are divided or unified, to adopt an independent foreign policy of their own," Cui noted, adding that "they know where their best interests lie."
 
China wants a denuclearization of the entire Korean Peninsula, no armed conflict or chaos on its borders, and for any reunification to happen through diplomacy, Cui said.

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