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`N. Korea Violated 7 Inter-Korean Accords`

Posted November. 27, 2008 03:09,   


North Korea`s decision to sever ties with South Korea violates seven inter-Korean agreements, the Unification Ministry said in a report submitted yesterday to Kwon Young-se, lawmaker of the ruling Grand National Party.

Pyongyang has suspended operation of an inter-Korean railway, restricted overland passage across the border, and reduced South Korean personnel at the Gaeseong Industrial Park in Kaesong, North Korea.

Despite that the North urged the South to honor the 2007 inter-Korean summit agreement on the launch of cargo train service between Munsan in South Korea and Pongdong in the North, the suspension of the train service makes implementation of the agreement impossible.

The suspension also violates an inter-Korean agreement on railway operation that took effect in August 2005 on safety and convenience guarantees for railway passengers as well as the 2007 inter-Korean declaration and a ministerial agreement in November last year.

The suspension of the tour to Kaesong also goes against an investment guarantee agreement that took effect in Aug. 2003.

Moreover, the closure of the Inter-Korean Exchanges and Cooperation Consultation Office violates an agreement on guaranteeing the safety and activities of personnel. The expulsion of South Korean staff breaches three agreements specifying the guarantee of South Koreans’ stay at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and the Mount Kumgang tourist area.

Among the seven violated agreements, four have been ratified by South Korea`s National Assembly. The four govern the tours to Kaesong and Mount Kumgang, inter-Korean road operations, investment guarantees, and exchanges and the consultation office.

The four accords are thus legally binding like any other law.

“The current situation in which even agreements ratified by parliament are ignored confirms that past inter-Korean relations chased a mirage,” lawmaker Kwon said. “We must skim off the form and normalize ties in a practical manner.”

In a recent report, the National Assembly Research Center, the think tank of the National Assembly, also said that in the early stage of drawing up inter-Korean agreements, more emphasis was placed on the agreements themselves rather than details on guaranteeing implementation.