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Speeches and Contributions

Congratulatory Speech at the seminar on the rationalization of legislation for resumption of inter-Korean economic cooperation


Congratulatory Speech at the seminar on the rationalization of legislation for resumption of inter-Korean economic cooperation

14:00 on April 24, 2019 at the National Assembly Members’ Office Building

Congratulatory Speech

By Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is good to see you all. I am Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul

I am very pleased to be here with you at this meaningful event. The seminar addresses the rationalization of legislation for resumption of inter-Korean economic cooperation, particularly with the first anniversary of the April 27 Panmunjeom Declaration just a few days away.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Choo Mi-ae of the Democratic Party of Korea and Lee Hong-hoon, head of the Legislation Forum for a Peaceful Community, for hosting the seminar, and all others involved in arranging the seminar.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to all the distinguished guests for gracing the event with their presence and the experts for participating in the presentations and discussions.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
With a new peace dawning on the Korean Peninsula in Pyeongchang last year, we laid the foundation for inter-Korean economic cooperation.

South and North Korea conducted a joint survey of railways in the North to reconnect the roads and railways and held a groundbreaking ceremony for their connection. The two Koreas began working together to preserve the forestry of the Korean Peninsula including joint control of forest diseases and pests. They reached a consensus on ways to create joint special economic zones on the east and west coasts.

Building on the achievements of last year, we need to realize more concrete results in inter-Korean economic cooperation this year. To this end, we have to make the two wheels denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula — and inter-Korean economic cooperation — turn smoothly.

The future smiles on those who are prepared. We should indeed make preparations so that economic cooperation projects can begin at any time if conditions permit.

As matters stand now, the legal and institutional guarantees remain insufficient for inter-Korean economic cooperation.

As a result, many economic cooperation projects have been discontinued for non-economic reasons, and South Korean businesspeople engaged in inter-Korean economic cooperation suffered unexpected losses.

Instead of repeating the same mistakes, we should pursue substantial development in inter-Korean economic cooperation to take the next step forward. We must also improve the legal framework if we are to expand inter-Korean economic cooperation into cooperation with the international community.

We need to lay down the legal system before resuming economic cooperation in earnest, and it is an essential process at this point.

For its part, the government will rationalize and streamline laws and institutions as needed to reflect the changed reality so that inter-Korean economic cooperation can be carried out more systematically.

It will discuss legal and institutional matters with the North as necessary. In the process, the government will consult experts and closely cooperate with the National Assembly.

For these endeavors, I expect that you will have productive discussions today.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
While implementing the inter-Korean joint declarations as agreed, the government will strive to ensure that our efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and the negotiation process for denuclearization between North Korea and the US mutually reinforce each other and go forward.

I believe that all of you here will join us on the journey toward building a Korean Peninsula of peace and prosperity.

Once again, I congratulate you on holding the seminar, and I have no doubt that you will offer the government excellent suggestions and advice.

Thank you.