Cabinet approves bill for amendment of
the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act
□ The Cabinet approved a bill for amendment of the Inter-Korean
Exchange and Cooperation Act at a meeting on January 19, 2021.
o The government began work on the amendment last year as part of
the overall effort to “improve legislation for exchange and
cooperation,” a major policy objective, and drafted the bill after
gathering public opinions through various channels including an online
public hearing held on May 27, 2020.
o The government addressed in the bill those matters that require
legislative improvements on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of
the enactment of the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act. It
particularly focused on maximizing reliability and autonomy in
exchange and cooperation at the private level.
□ Major amended provisions are as follows.
① Establish the legal basis for procedures and government support
when exchange and cooperation projects are suspended.
o Projects expected to be suspended as a result of shortening of the
term of validity of trading and cooperation projects shall undergo
deliberation by the Cabinet, and the bill makes it possible to take
necessary measures including funding for management normalization.
② Set forth the reasons for refusal of approval of visits to North Korea.
o The bill sets forth the reasons for refusal of approval of visits
to North Korea, and it requires that the reasons be discussed with the
heads of appropriate institutions.
③ Set forth matters regarding the establishment of offices in North
Korea by corporations and organizations.
o The establishment of offices in North Korea had been regulated by
the Notification of the Ministry of Unification but is now subject to
the higher law.
④ Introduce a certification system for trading business operators
subject to special treatment and excellent trading business operators
in an inter-Korean cooperation district.
o The bill sets forth the legal basis for special cases regarding
the process of requesting approval to make visits and to take out or
bring in goods (including movement of goods) at an inter-Korean
cooperation district, and it requires the establishment of a
certification system for excellent trading business operators who have
not violated applicable regulations.
□ The bill for amendment will be submitted to the National Assembly
in January after being approved by the President, and if the
amendments take effect after undergoing deliberation and resolution at
the National Assembly, they are expected to do much to facilitate
reliable and sustainable inter-Korean exchange and cooperation.
□ The government will continue to strive to promote inter-Korean
exchange and cooperation.