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South, North agree on investment safeguard

Posted September. 26, 2000 19:33,   


South and North Korea will hold their second round of working-level talks on economic cooperation in Pyongyang from Oct. 18 and the consummation of investment assurance and double taxation treaty agreements is planned. At the first round of talks currently being held in Seoul, South Korea agreed in principle to provide additional food support for North Korea. The government is expected to announce the food support schedule and volume sometime next week.

Deputy Vice Minister Lee Keun-Kyoung, the head representative for the South Korean side, revealed that as food support towards North Korea has been agreed upon, detailed guidelines will be presented soon after the necessary legal processes are completed. He added that an announcement will be made before the second round of working level talks slated for Oct. 18. The government is expected to announce that the food support to North Korea will be implemented and the volume decided upon in early October. Both South and North Korea had agreed on the food support issue at the second round of ministerial talks held in August. Hence, the government will import 600,000-700,000 tons of Thai rice and Chinese corn to send to North Korea.

After the meeting, both delegations released a joint statement that said earnest discussions took place on the investment assurance and double tax treaty issues. Remaining differences in the draft agreement will be ironed out at the second round of discussions. Both sides also agreed that pacts relating to dispute/arbitration and settlement were essential and pledged to continue discussions on these matters. Head representative Lee noted that the investment assurance agreement and double tax treaty agreement will be consummated at the Pyongyang meeting next month and said there is possibility that dispute/arbitration and settlement agreements will be signed.