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Press Releases

2020 Ministry of Unification Work Plan


Press Release

“Tangible Changes, Republic of Korea 2020”

Ministry of Unification will advance peace and prosperity
on the Korean Peninsula

-2020 Ministry of Unification Work Plan –

March 3, 2020

□ The Ministry of Unification reported, in writing, its 2020 Work Plan to the Presidential Office (Cheong Wa Dae) and the Office for Government Policy Coordination.

□ The Ministry of Unification’s 2020 Work Plan is as follows.

- Find a new driver for inter-Korean relations, including healthcare and border cooperation, and individual tourism to North Korea
- Lay the foundation for realization of peace economy pursuing exchange and cooperation on a wider range of matters
- Resolve humanitarian issues between the two Koreas fundamentally and comprehensively
- Establish a domestic and international cooperative system for policy on unification and North Korea in order to achieve sustainable development of inter-Korean relations

[The Ministry will lead the efforts to achieve denuclearization and establish a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula by expanding room for inter-Korean relations through a new way of thinking.]

① Ministry will exert efforts to transform the DMZ into an international peace zone.

ㅇ It will solidly prepare for peaceful use of the DMZ through historical, cultural, environmental, and ecological studies, basic researches, and pilot projects.

- It will promote such projects in earnest through consultations with North Korea, considering the state of inter-Korean relations.

ㅇ It will reopen the DMZ Peace Trail and resume a tour to Panmunjeom, thereby making it easier and more convenient for people to access and enjoy the DMZ.

ㅇ It will ensure the participation of international organizations while remaining in close cooperation with the central and local governments and non-government agencies.

② The Ministry will promote individual tourism to North Korea.

ㅇ It will increase person-to-person exchange and cooperation through individual tourism to the North by separated family members and domestic tourists, and it will explore ways to facilitate the tourism industry with border areas.

ㅇ It will, through consultation with the North, ensure that separated family members can visit Mount Geumgang or Gaeseong and that South Korean nationals can visit tourist destinations in North Korea via a travel agency of a third country.

ㅇ It will ensure smooth progress in tourism by conducting necessary consultations with the North, and managing the overall situation through support for private organizations’ contact with the North, approval of visits to the North, support for cross-border passage, and render civil service through a support center for visits to North Korea.

- It will ease concerns about the safety of tourists or any possibility of sanctions violations on North Korea through discussions with the North and by setting forth guidelines.

③ The Ministry will pursue exchange and cooperation on a wider range of matters.

ㅇ It will first connect the severed section in the South, and then resume discussions with the North on connecting the section in the North. Together with the Organization for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD) it will explore ways to connect South-North railway with the continental railway system.

ㅇ It will strengthen trilateral cooperation with neighboring countries including cooperation between the two Koreas and China and cooperation between the two Koreas and Russia, and it will support knowledge-sharing projects by the private sector.

ㅇ It will resume inter-Korean cooperation in social and cultural areas while pushing ahead with a joint event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration, joint participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and co-hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.

ㅇ It will actively identify opportunities for development and cooperation between the two Koreas, including healthcare, disaster prevention and management, forestry, and the environment.

ㅇ It will actively render support for local governments and private organizations that engage in cooperation with North Korea. 

- Considering the demand of the North, it will provide supports for projects to be carried out in accordance with regional demand and characteristics. The general counseling center for inter-Korean exchange and cooperation will be reinforced to provide one-stop service addressing civilians’ needs.

④ The Ministry will substantially address humanitarian issues.

ㅇ It will expand exchanges including visits to hometowns at the civilian level while continuing to work for face-to-face and video reunions of separated family members through consultations with North Korea.

ㅇ It will continue to provide humanitarian assistance for the vulnerable groups in North Korea through international organizations including WFP, UNICEF, and WHO, and it will grant local governments and private organizations more responsibilities and assistance.

ㅇ It will explore ways to substantially improve the protection of human rights in North Korea while working together with the international community and the private sector.

ㅇ It will assist North Korean defectors in handling their everyday needs through community-based settlement support, and it will run the Inter-Korean Integration Culture Center slated to open in the first half of the year as a venue for communication and building solidarity between North Korean defectors and local residents.

⑤ The Ministry will lay the foundation for implementing unification and North Korea policies.

o It will establish a foundation for peace and unification in each region and carry out exchange and cooperation programs, unification education, cultural events, and experience programs designed specifically for each region along with citizens. 

- It will faithfully implement these programs at the Incheon Unification Plus(+) Center this year and expand them in phases to Gyeongsang and Jeolla Provinces next year.

o It will host various public diplomacy programs including international forums, track 1.5 strategic dialogues, and increase the international community’s understanding of peace on the Korean Peninsula and development in inter-Korean relations by supporting researchers from overseas in their study on the Korean Peninsula.

o It will enhance the reliability and transparency of unification policy by amending the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act and enacting the Act on Special Economic Zones for Unification.

□ Based on these plans, the Ministry will duly take into consideration the Coronavirus -19 situation and the state of US-DPRK and inter-Korean relations as it carries out its duties.

ㅇ By doing so, it will do its best to find a new growth engine for inter-Korean relations and lay the foundation for permanent peace and common prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.  // The End //


* Unofficial translation