N. Korea proposes talks to normalize inter-Korean projects
North Korea has proposed inter-Korean talks to discuss ways to normalize the suspended Gaeseong Joint Industrial Complex and resume Mt. Geumgang tours.
Pyongyang has also made several other proposals that are considered critical to thawing strained inter-Korean relations.
For more, we have our Unification Ministry correspondent Hwang Sung-hee on the line.
Sung-hee, fill us in.
North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea released a statement this morning, proposing government-level talks to normalize operations at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and the stalled tourism business near Mt. Geumgang.
The statement read, that inter-Korean talks on the suspended projects should take place in time for the anniversary of the upcoming June 15th Joint Declaration.
It also said that if needed, humanitarian issues, including the reunion of families separated by the Korean War, can also be brought to the table.
The committee proposed the two countries come together to celebrate the June 15th and July 4th declarations, which are both considered milestones for amicable inter-Korean relations, claiming it would improve inter-Korean ties.
The two declarations lay out steps for a peaceful reunification of North and South.
If things do work out between the two Koreas, we may be see operations at the Gaeseong complex resume after 65 days of having been shut down.
What was the South Korean government's immediate response to this?
Seoul's Unification Ministry welcomed North Korea's shift in stance saying that it is reviewing the issue in a positive light.
The ministry said the government-level talks will hopefully lend momentum to efforts to restore trust between the two Koreas.
An official from the ministry made it clear, however, that North Korea was not making a new proposal but responding to a series of proposals initiated by Seoul.
Seoul has yet to publicly announce its acceptance of the talks, but it has in effect opened the door to the invitation.. by saying that specific details such as the agenda for the talks and the date will be laid out in the future.
Back to you.
Thank you for that report, Sung-hee.
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