Briefing on Results of the 1st Vice Minister-Level Talks
Date and Venue: December 12th, 2015, lasted for 20 minutes, held at the KIDMAC Center, Gaeseong
1. Main Contents
Results of the 1st Inter-Korean Talks(December 11th to 12th )
South and North Korea held the 1st Vice Minister-Level Talksat the Gaeseong Industrial Complex for two days from December 11th to 12th and discussed the pending issues to improve inter-Korean relations, but did not reach an agreement.
The R.O.K government earnestly engaged itself in the talks with an attempt to substantially improve inter-Korean relations by fulfilling the August 25 Agreement, while holding on to the principles at the same time.
While our main focus lied on 1) resolving the separated families issues by confirming the fate of family members, exchanging letters and other measures, 2) opening up the three channels for cooperation – environment, livelihood, and culture, 3) constructing the DMZ World Eco-Peace Park, and 4) resolving the 3C questions (Commuting, Communication and Customs) of the GIC,
North Korea focused on the resumption of the Mt. Geumgang tourism by linking the matter to the separated families issues. North Korea argued for ‘simultaneous advancement and simultaneous implementation’ of the two issues and urged the South to reach an agreement on the resumption of Mt. Geumgang tourism first.
Our government emphasized that it is inappropriate to link the issue of Mt. Geumgang tourism to the separated families issues since they are different in nature.
Moreover, we suggested holding a working-level meeting on Mt. Geumgang tourism to discuss this issue, given that in order for Mt. Geumgang tourism to be resumed, North Korea must first take responsible measures, including a pledge to prevent the recurrence of the shooting incident, guarantee of the tourists’ safety, and restoration of property rights.
However, North Korea did not respond to our proposal, stating that it cannot have any discussions on other issues including the separated families, unless the issue of Mt. Geumgang tourism is settled first.
The basic stance of our government that it will establish the foundation of peaceful unification by normalizing and developing inter-Korean relations and continuing to have dialogue with North Korea with an open mind has not changed.