The Park Geun-hye administration has placed a priority on economic reform in recent weeks, but has also shifted its focus back toward a unification drive with North Korea, an initiative that was overshadowed by April's ferry tragedy and the escalation of provocations out of North Korea.
President Park on Thursday ordered members of a newly-established 50-member special committee to draw up measures for building up infrastructure in North Korea and improving the lives of the North Korean people as a first step.
"Building up North Korea's infrastructure and helping to improve the livelihoods of the people is a way to resolve the humanitarian issues, but it's also basic preparation for post-reunification."
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The committee plans to conduct joint government and civilian research for unification and arouse greater public interest in the matter.
President Park has said that a reunification of the two Koreas would be an economic 'bonanza' for the peninsula and neighboring countries.
During a speech in Dresden, Germany in March, she called for bolstering cross-border exchanges as a first step toward building trust between the rival Koreas and laying the groundwork for unification.
The two Koreas have been divided for more than six decades following the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.