Two North Korean dogs are causing a political stir in South Korea
Gumi and Songang are two dogs that North Korea gave to its southern neighbor as a sign of peace between the two countries, but recently caused a political uproar in South Korea that has not abated to this day.
The two white dogs were presented to then-South Korean President Moon Jae-in by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during peace talks in 2018.
The two dogs have lived under Moon’s care ever since incumbent President Yoon Seok Yeol succeeded him as president in May.
Moon’s office said in a statement Monday that it would turn over the two dogs to the president’s archives, and accused President Yoon of blocking a formula that would give the former president a legal basis for keeping them.
“Contrary to the archives of the President and the Department of the Interior, the Office of the President appears to be opposed to leaving the two dogs in the care of former President Moon,” Moon’s office said in a statement.
“In light of recent media reports, the Office of the President has not shown good faith in resolving this issue and is inclined to blame Moon,” the statement concludes, saying, “We are amazed at the hatred of the current government that is not reaching.” became a solution to a small problem like this.” .
The Ministry of Interior and Security confirmed that the government is in talks with Moon to provide monthly benefits totaling 2.5 million won (US$1,800) for the two dogs.
President Yun, who already has four dogs and three cats, denied that Moon kept the two dogs and said talks between relevant ministries were continuing in a statement issued by his office on Monday.
“It is not true that former President Moon Jae-in attempted to reach an agreement to keep the two dogs and that the Presidential Office objected,” the statement said.
Dogs have historically been a symbol of the thaw between the two Koreas.
In 2000, the late North Korean President Kim Jong Il gifted Groen, Yuri and Dory to then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. The handsome South Korean leader responded with two dogs, which he named Peace and Reunification.
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