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North Korea sends rare announcement to all Koreans, calls for unification

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By (Reuters/AP)

Seoul – 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, its state media 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” have shown to be unhelpful for the development of relations between North and South Korea.

Twelve North Korean female hockey players crossed the heavily fortified border into South Korea on Thursday to form the rivals’ first-ever unified Olympic team during next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Games.

On Thursday morning, the North Korean hockey players wearing white and red winter parkas with “DPR Korea,” an abbreviation of their country’s official name Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, written on their backs, arrived in South Korea along with a coach and two support staff.

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