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N. Korean Freight Checks Strengthened

Posted October. 20, 2006 03:02,   


The government has decided to strengthen inspections on freight shipped to North Korea and bring to a halt the subsidy for railroad materials and equipment, and for tourism to Mt. Geumgang.

Accordingly, the government will enact or amend laws relevant to freight and money transfers to North Korea and will strictly administer the control system of the export of strategic goods at the same time.

It was disclosed on October 19 that the government has drafted measures to fulfill the UN Security Council resolution on sanctions against North Korea (issue 1718) based on the aforementioned frame and is coordinating opinions among ministries for the final confirmation.

The fulfillment measures include the plan to strengthen inspections by the customs house on freight cargos to North Korea. In addition, for the South-North railroad connection project, the additional subsidy of materials and equipment formerly provided to North Korea as loans will be withheld. The materials and equipment loans withheld from execution are currently valued at 12 million dollars and were planned to be used for the completion of a signal communication system and railroad stations.

It was revealed that the government, in particular, is seriously revising the measure to strengthen overseeing activities on the North Korean ships that stop by the South Korean ports when traveling to other nations, which is provided by the South-North Marine Transportation Agreement which gained effect in the domestic law when it was enacted in August last year.

For the tourism business to Mt. Geumgang, pointed out by the US as a window through which dollars flow into North Korea, it is told that the government has decided to freeze the tourism subsidy given to teachers and students and the subsidy related to investment into new facility such as roads.

The government plans to postpone indefinitely any additional sale of the Gaesong Industrial Complex and to improve the transparency of the wage payment system within the complex by adopting a direct payment system whereby the payment is given directly to the North Korean workers without passing through North Korean institutions.