South Korea's unification ministry said Friday that it will unwaveringly pursue its inter-Korean policy for peaceful unification regardless of the Constitutional Court's decision to uphold the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
Earlier in the day, the eight justices at the top court unanimously ruled to unseat Park, who was impeached by parliament in December over a corruption scandal involving her and her close confidante.
"Despite the decision, the ministry plans to unwaveringly seek the country's policy on North Korea and unification," said an official at the ministry handling inter-Korean affairs.
Under the law, South Korea should hold a presidential election within 60 years after the court's ruling.
Former President Park's key inter-Korean policy is called the Korean Peninsula Trust-Building Process, which calls for building mutual trust to pave the way for unification.
But since North Korea's two nuclear tests and missile launches in 2016, South Korea has been focusing on applying pressure and sanctions on the North. The government did not officially ditch Park's signature policy.
Seoul shut down a joint industrial complex in the North's border city of Kaesong on Feb. 10, 2016, in response to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations.
"The government may review Park's inter-Korean policy and discuss ways for possible improvement," said a ministry official.
In an unusually swift manner, North Korea's state media reported that the South Korean court upheld the impeachment of Park earlier in the day amid protesters' rally against her.
"Less than one year away from the end of her (five-year) term, Park was dismissed from her presidency and will face investigations as an ordinary criminal," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
In 2004, the Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, released a report on the reinstatement of former impeached President Roh Moo-hyun two days after the court's decision.
He was impeached by parliament on charges, including illegal electioneering, but he was reinstated by the court in May 2004. (Yonhap)