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Second round of working-level meetings on S-N economic cooperation

Second round of working-level meetings on S-N economic cooperation

Posted November. 09, 2000 20:24,   


The South Korean delegation visiting North Korea for the second round of working-level meetings on bilateral economic cooperation officially requested the North Thursday to allow the Southern delegation to visit two to three food warehouses located near Pyongyang.

The Southern delegation said that it needed to do so to confirm whether food aid from the South has been distributed in a transparent manner.

In a general meeting held in Koryo Hotel, downtown Pyongyang, Lee Keun-Kyong, assistant minister of finance and economy, who heads the Southern delegation, reminded the North of its promise to guarantee the transparent distribution of food aid. Lee then expressed hopes that consultations would take place on specific ways to confirm the promise¡¯s fulfillment.

Responding to Lee¡¯s request, Jung Un-Op, the chief delegate of the North, said that he would study ways to confirm the transparency of food aid distribution.

In a bid to set up institutional bases for South-North economic cooperation, both sides also intensively discussed the adoption of agreements in four fields, including investment guarantees, dual-taxation prevention, procedures for solving commercial disputes and settlement and liquidation.

They agreed on the establishment of a commercial dispute arbitration committee to solve disputes related to inter-Korean trade and to appoint three judges for the committee.

However, the South and North failed to narrow their differences over issues such as the treatment of traders from both sides as natives, the method of imposing taxes on airlift incomes and the interest rates for money carried forward in the process of settlement.

Assistant Minister Lee said that both sides agreed in principle on settling the four pending issues as quickly as possible and the North was very enthusiastic about this, but opinions were divided over some specific issues.