South, North discuss joint forestry projects

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South, North discuss joint forestry projects

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Officials from the two Koreas meet at the border village of Panmunjom on Wednesday to discuss cooperation in forestry and environmental projects. Ryu Kwang-soo, vice minister of the Korea Forest Service, led the South’s delegation while North Korea’s delegation was led by Kim Song-jun, a high-level official in the North’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. [YONHAP]

South Korea agreed to help the North with disease and pest control and share its technology and science in forestry development.

Officials from the two Koreas met at the border village of Panmunjom on Wednesday to discuss collaboration on forestry and environmental matters, the latest field of cooperation between the two countries after meetings on rail and infrastructure.

Both countries agreed that a delegation from Seoul would visit the North’s side of the inter-Korean border in mid-July to seek ways to help the area control diseases and pest, after which both countries will carry out the task together, the South’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North, said in a joint press release.

Further discussions will also be held to negotiate the founding of a working-level organization that will oversee South-North cooperation in the forestry sector, the joint press release said.

The working-level meeting, held at the South Korean-controlled Peace House, started at 10 a.m. and wrapped up around 12 hours later. Ryu Kwang-soo, vice minister of the South’s Korea Forest Service, led two other government officials to the meeting.

North Korea’s delegation for the meeting was led by Kim Song-jun, a high-level official in the North’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, and included two other officials.

In the Panmunjom Declaration, which the two Koreas’ leaders signed on April 27, both countries agreed to “promote balanced economic growth and co-prosperity of the nation.”

As a first step, the two Koreas agreed last week to modernize North Korea’s highways and railroads in the hopes of connecting them with South Korea’s network to form a “single market” on the Korean Peninsula.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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