South Korea is officially looking to enable South Korean citizens to visit North Korea individually and in making that happen, it's willing to "flexibly" implement its sanctions on the regime.
In its regular press briefing on Friday, South Korea's Unification Ministry stressed that traveling to North Korea isn't in itself a violation of international sanctions and it would help expand inter-Korean civic exchages.
"Tourism doesn't violate UN sanctions. There are many visitors from other countries who are traveling to North Korea and no one has pointed out that this goes against the sanctions. So we are realistically reviewing various options."
But South Korea itself has in the past prohibited its citizens from visiting the North.
After North Korea sank South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010, which killed 46 sailors, Seoul imposed its own sanctions on Pyeongyang called the May 24 measures.
They cut off South Korea's trade and investment with the North and ban South Koreans from visiting.
Regarding those measures, the government explained:
"We have been been flexible on the May 24 measures when invidividual citizens have had to visit North Korea. And that's how humanitarian assistance, socio-cultural exchanges, and talks betwen the authorities have been possible."
The government says, the most important thing now is whether North Korea will respond and cooperate on Seoul's plan.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.