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South proposes joint investigation team on electric power in N.K.

South proposes joint investigation team on electric power in N.K.

Posted December. 28, 2000 18:54,   


At the first meeting of the South-North economic cooperation committee held Thursday, the South Korean side suggested that both sides jointly investigate the current status of electric power in North Korea before the South offers any electric power assistance.

In a keynote speech at the meeting, held at the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang, the South Korean side said national consent was needed on projects requiring an ongoing financial commitment, such as electric power cooperation under the economically difficult circumstances. It proposed that both sides conduct joint investigations after creating a fact-finding investigation team comprised of experts from South and North Korea, and engage in negotiations based on the joint investigation results.

On the South¡¯s proposal, the North Korean side delivered its intention to settle the issue on the South¡¯s assistance of electric power first at this meeting. Cho Myung-Kyun, a director general in charge of the exchanges and cooperation at the Ministry of Unification, said that the North Korean side requested the South¡¯s early assistance of the electric power amounting to 500,000kw in a power transmission formula, taking the same position as shown at the 4th ministerial-level meeting.

As for the connection of the severed railway, the Kyongui Line between Seoul and Shinuiju in North Korea, the South Korean side said that the contacts of working-level officials in the private sector are needed, along with the working-level military contacts, to help the Kyungui Line fulfill its function actively as soon as it has been completed. On the measures to prevent floods of Imjin River, the South Korean side also proposed the formation of an investigation team at an earliest date possible.

In the meantime, the North side shared the same view with the South in principle on the necessity of creating an investigation team related to the measures to prevent floods of Imjin River, and expressed its intention to engage in negotiations, if necessary, on the issue concerning the Kyungui Line in accordance with the developments of the military working-level meetings, the South Korean committee delivered.

Choi Young-Hae moneychoi@donga.com