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S. Korea to Discuss Launching Capitalist Movement in N. Korea

S. Korea to Discuss Launching Capitalist Movement in N. Korea

Posted September. 28, 2007 03:17,   


The two Koreas have agreed to discuss launching the Saemaeul Movement, which helped the South achieve rapid economic growth in the 1970s, in North Korea during the upcoming inter-Korean summit scheduled to be held in Pyongyang during October 2-4.

“In order to improve the overall economic health of North Korea and lay the foundation for its long-term economic development, the South Korean government has agreed with the North to deliberate on the possibility of implementing the Saemaeul Movement, which suits the nature of Koreans, in the North at the inter-Korean summit,” a government official said Thursday.

However, it is questionable whether the communist regime will be able to allow and promote the Saemaeul Movement, which is also known as the New Village Movement, since it is based on the capitalistic philosophy, “If you work hard, you can have a better life.”

The government is also considering establishing the Inter-Korean Investment Corporation in the North. The entity exclusively handles inter-Korean economic projects and promotes economic development of the North. In line with this plan, it is discussing ways to expand the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Committee, which is currently chaired by Han Duck-soo, the South’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy.

However, experts point out that the decision may provoke a backlash from the public if the Roh Moo-hyun administration, which has only five months left in office, hastily launches the Inter-Korean Investment Corporation.

Seoul is also planning to discuss ways to exchange long-term North Korean political prisoners for South Korean soldiers taken prisoner during the 1950-53 Korean War at the summit. The S. Korean government believes that this will help create a maximum synergy effect for the bilateral talks.

Meanwhile, President Roh accepted the North’s request to watch the propaganda-based Arirang performance during his visit to Pyongyang, said Baek Jong-cheon, chief presidential secretary for security, foreign relations, and unification policy.

Roh is likely to attend the event with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Il after a dinner party on the evening of October 3, according to sources.

The government also confirmed Thursday that a total of 300 South Koreans will visit the North next week. The list comprises a 200-member entourage, which includes 13 official delegation members, 49 special assistants, 99 general assistants and 50 reporters, as well as President Roh and the first lady, and 98 extra personnel, for the summit.

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