South Korea sends North Korea 50 tons of insecticide to control pine wilt
The ROK government delivered 50 tons of insecticide to control pine
wilt to Gaeseong in the North via the Gyeongui Road on November 29.
These chemicals are used to prevent pine wilt disease and control
black pine bast scale (Matsucoccus thunbergianae) and are not subject
to the UN sanctions on North Korea.
A pine wilt infection will cause pine trees and nut pine trees to
wilt and die.
Pine wilt can cause damage over an extensive area,
and there is concern that the Japanese pine sawyer beetle (Monochamus
saltuarius) will spread it much farther afield. The window of
opportunity for controlling pine wilt is only from November to March.
Both South and North Korea fully understand that time is obviously
running short this year and that joint pest control is important, and
they agreed to cooperate closely to bring pine wilt under control.
The delivery of insecticide for prevention and control of diseases
was agreed between South and North Korea in the Pyeongyang Joint
Declaration (September 19, 2018), the Inter-Korean High-level Talks
(October 15, 2018), and the second inter-Korean talks on forestry
cooperation (October 22, 2018).
A 15-member delegation including forestry officials and experts, led
by Managing Director Lim Sang-seop of Forest Industry and Policy
Bureau at the Korea Forest Service, crossed the military demarcation
line at 8:30 a.m. on November 29 and delivered the chemicals to the
North that morning. In the afternoon, the two sides conducted pest
control together in pine forests in the vicinity of the royal tomb of
King Taejo (Wang Geon) in Gaeseong and had working-level discussions.
The South and the North had jointly assessed the damage caused by
forestry diseases and pests on Mount Geumgang on August 8. During this
present visit to the North, the two Koreas will jointly assess the
damage to pine forests near Gaeseong and conduct pest control together
in consultation with experts. The two sides will also discuss ways to
jointly modernize tree nurseries and preserve and protect the forests.
Forestry disease and pest control cooperation benefits both South
and North Korea in that forestry diseases and pests can easily spread
across borders. The cooperation is very meaningful in that the South
and the North are working together hand-in-hand to preserve the
forestry ecosystems on the Korean Peninsula.