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Inter-Korean communications reactivated

Posted July. 30, 2000 19:44,   


The first round of inter-Korean ministerial talks on the implementation of the June 15th Joint Declaration was held on the 30th at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul. The ministers agreed in the discussions to reactivate communications offices at the border village of Panmunjom that were shut down in 1996. They also discussed the possibility of opening a direct military hot line between the two Koreas.

Both the North and the South agreed to designate the week of August 15th, Liberation Day, "Inter-Korean Reconciliation Week," and will stage festivals and events in line with the June 15th Joint Declaration.

Both sides also pledged to hold regular ministerial meetings and proposed a second round of talks as early as next month in Pyongyang. In order to follow through on the accords reached at the talks, the ministers agreed on the establishment of three joint committees, which will oversee the implementation of their pacts in the economic, military and continued dialogue fields.

One of the South`s representatives, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Kim Soon-Kyu, said during the debriefing that both delegations shared the opinion that transparency was of the utmost importance, and have agreed to designate Inter-Korean Reconciliation Week and to normalize operations at the communication offices in Panmunjom.

Deputy Minister Kim added that the day`s meeting was held in an amicable and productive atmosphere, with both sides pledging to successfully work out the details of the Joint Declaration. To oversee the successful implementation of the Joint Declaration, the two sides have agreed to meet on a regular basis.

The delegates from both sides enjoyed a luncheon hosted by Unification Minister Park Jae-Ku at Sam-won Garden in the Shinsa area of Seoul. After the luncheon, they had an opportunity to visit a museum at Chamshil Lotte World in the Song-pa area. Their dinner was hosted by Mayor of Seoul Ko Gun at the Intercontinental Hotel in Samsung-dong.

President Kim Dae-Jung will meet with the North Korean delegation in the morning of the 31st, the last day of their stay in South Korea.