A working-level meeting was held
August 2 to 4 at Mt. Geumgang to prepare for the 7th Inter Korean ministerial
After serious and substantive deliberations, the
delegates of the South and the North agreed on the following and issued a joint
- The two sides agreed to hold the
7th Inter South-North Minister-level Talks from August 12-14, 2002.
two sides agreed to consult and settle the following issues at the 7th
South-North Minister-level Talks:
a. The issue of fixing the dates to carry out the terms of
Joint Press Release of April 5 (2002)
b. The issue of holding the 2nd meeting of the South-North
Economic Cooperation Meeting to discuss such already-agreed issues such as
reconnecting the rail lines and highways between the South and the North,
construction of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and flood-prevention measures
along the Imjin River; the issue concerning the 2nd meeting between the
authorities for the revitalization of the Mt. Geumgang tourism; the dispatch of
North Korean economic inspection team to the South; and the resumption of talks
between the South-North military authorities.
c. The issues related to the holding of 4th South-North Red
Cross Talks and realizing the 5th Reunion of Separated Families at Mt.
- The two sides agreed that the North would participate in the
14th Busan Asian Games and that the South would guarantee the convenience of the
North's delegation and actively cooperate.
- The two sides agreed to render
active assistance for the success of the private sector events of the "August 15
National Unification Rally in Seoul" and the inter-Korean soccer game in
2. Significances of the Agreement
southern delegates conveyed its unequivocal position on the June 29 naval
skirmish and urged North Korea to take steps South Koreans could accept. The
northern negotiators expressed regret and promised to extend efforts to prevent
a repeat of similar incidents.
- The meeting has provided a crucial
momentum to normalize inter-Korean relations by reaching an agreement on the
schedule and agenda of the 7th Minister-level Talks. Specifically, the fixing of
the dates to carry out the terms of Joint Press Release of April 5, 2002 has
paved the way to put into operation such already-agreed issues as reconnecting
the rail lines and highways between the South and the North and construction of
the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
- The proposed holding of the 5th Reunion
of Separated Families would serve as an occasion to bring together separated
families on a regular basis. The resumption of Red Cross talks would also help
with such key issues as setting up a permanent meeting place, exchange of
letters and confirmation of the fates and addresses of separated family members.
- The participation in major events together like the Busan Asian Games
would contribute to enhancing the reconciliation and cooperation on the Korean
3. Background of the Agreement
The South has
persistently persuaded the North that it was important to keep the legacy of the
landmark June 15, 2000 inter-Korean summit and to carry out a number of
agreements reached at the summit meeting.
The agreement is meaningful as it comes in parallel with
the North Korean move to improve ties with the United States and
The North's diplomatic turn-around in the wake of the
June naval clash appears to be influenced by the reasoning that maintaining
peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and opening doors for foreign
capital and technology are crucial to speed up its economic improvement and
4. Notable Aspects of the Meeting
came in the wake of North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activities, including
Foreign Minister Peak Nam-sun's meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi at the ASEAN Regional
Forum (ARF) in Brunei and North Korea's move to introduce elements of a
During the meeting, the northern negotiators showed a
positive and practical attitude, which led to serious and substantive
deliberations. It was a far cry from the past when they concentrated on rhetoric
5. Immediate Tasks
- The South Korean
government will form a cooperative network among the concerned authorities in
order to set in motion the various inter-Korean economic projects and to make
the planned private-sector events a success.
- The government will
cooperate with the United States and Japan so that the newly resumed
inter-Korean reconciliation will help lead to the improvement of the North
Korea's relations with the two countries.