Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the release of a national of the Republic of Korea who had been detained by the authorities of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) since 30 March, calling it a “positive” move by Pyongyang.
“As this development comes at the heels of the release of the two American journalists, he appreciates the decision of the DPRK to take positive measures based on humanitarian considerations,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement issued yesterday.
Yu Seong-Jin, who reportedly returned home on Thursday, was working in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex in DPRK when he was detained.
His release comes just over a week after Laura Ling and Euna Lee were granted a special pardon from DPRK’s leader, Kim Jong-il, during a visit to Pyongyang by former United States President Bill Clinton. The two journalists had been found guilty of entering DPRK illegally in March and sentenced to 12 years’ hard labour.
Mr. Ban, who is currently on a visit to his native Republic of Korea, renewed his hope that a dialogue will resume at the earliest between the DPRK and the concerned parties including inter-Korean dialogue.
“He continues to support dialogue aimed at improving relations among them and resolving outstanding matters, including the nuclear issue,” the statement said, adding that the UN chief will do his best to assist those endeavours.