Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Two Koreas Agree to Break Ground Late Nov. Or Early Dec. to Link Railways, Roads
High-level Inter-Korean Talks Held at Panmunjom
Two Koreas Agree to Break Ground Late Nov. Or Early Dec. to Link Railways, Roads
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • October 15, 2018, 17:37
Share articles

South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myung-kyun (left) and his North Korean counterpart Ri Sun-kwon shake hands after exchanging a joint statement at a high-level inter-Korean meeting held at the Peace House in Panmunjom on Oct. 15.

The two Koreas agreed on Oct. 15 to kick off a joint project to modernize and link their railways and roads across their borders in late November or early December.

The agreement was reached during high-level talks between South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myung-kyun and his North Korean counterpart Ri Son-kwon. The two sides released a joint press statement after the talks at the Peace House in Panmunjom.

They also agreed to hold Red Cross talks in November to discuss issues related to families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War and arrange a general-level military meeting as soon as possible.

To hold a groundbreaking ceremony for railway connection in late November or early December, the two sides have decided to launch a joint site inspection on the Gyeongui Line in late October and on the Donghae Line in early November.

Initially, the two Koreas tried to conduct a site investigation on the North Korean section of the Gyeongui Line in late August by mobilizing South Korean engineers and trains, but the United Nations Command refused to approve the South Koreans’ travel across the military demarcation line.

The two Koreas have decided to finalize the schedule of a joint road investigation on the East and West Coast by exchanging documents.

They have also agreed to hold a general-level military dialogue soon to discuss the issue of ending military hostility in the border area including the Demilitarized Zone, and the composition and operation of the proposed joint military committee.

In addition, the South and the North will hold a meeting on October 22 at the South-North Joint Liaison Office to discuss prevention of pine wilt, modernization of a tree nursery and protection and restoration of the ecosystem.

The two sides have also agreed to hold a meeting on healthcare and medicine in late October at the Joint Liaison Office to discuss how to prevent the influx and spread of infectious diseases.

The South and the North will actively participate in international sports events including the 2020 Olympic Summer Games, and will hold inter-Korean sports talks at the end of October to discuss the joint opening of the 2032 Olympic Summer Games.

In addition, the South-North Red Cross meeting will be held in Mt. Geumgang in November to discuss the renovation of the facilities for reunion of separated families, as an agreement has been reached on practical matters concerning the restoration of the reunion facilities, video reunions, and video exchanges of separated families.

The two Koreas have decided to seek consultations on North Korean art troupes' performances in the South as soon as possible.

The South Korean delegation to the talks also included Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung, , Vice Minister for Transport Kim Jeong-ryeol, Second Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Roh Tae-kang..

The North Korean delegation was headed Ri Sun-kwon, chairman of the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, and included Park Ho-young, director of the National Economic and Social Affairs Committee.

 

Ri Sun-kwon, the North's chief delegate to the inter-Korean high-level talks, announces a joint statement after completing a high-level inter-Korean meeting at the Peace Center in Panmunjom on Saturday.