Moon says summit to intensify inter-Korean cooperation

September 20, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that there will be stepped-up cross-border exchanges on various fronts in line with his agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during this week’s summit talks.

Moon and Kim signed a joint declaration on Wednesday after their third summit in Pyongyang, pledging to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace free of nuclear weapons and nuclear threats, to cooperate in easing military tensions and to boost cross-border exchanges and cooperation.

“There are things that we verbally agreed upon and that did not end up in the joint declaration,” Moon told reporters after returning home from his three-day stay in Pyongyang.

“We agreed to hold parliamentary talks (between the two countries), and we also agreed to bolster exchanges on municipal government levels,” he added.

To fully operate a permanent meeting facility at Mount Kumgang for reunions of families separated by the Korean War, Moon said that he also asked Kim to lift the North’s confiscation of South Korean assets in the area, and Kim accepted the request.

A tour project to the scenic mountain on the North’s east coast was suspended in 2008 after a South Korean tourist was killed by a North Korean solider. The North confiscated all South Korean assets there.

The two agreed on Wednesday to open a permanent meeting facility at Mount Kumgang for regular reunions of families divided by the war that ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

Moon also said Kim accepted his proposal that North Korea display its cultural assets during an exhibition that will be held in South Korea later this year to mark the 1,100th anniversary of the establishment of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392).

Moon emphasized that the two Koreas have opened an era of “constant communication” as he mentioned a joint liaison office recently launched in the North’s border town of Kaesong.

The president added that Kim’s promised trip to Seoul possibly within this year means not only regular summit talks between the two Koreas but also cross-border contacts in earnest.

He said that an intergovernmental body will be launched to swiftly carry out the summit agreements and that high-level talks between the two Koreas will be held at an early date.

He, in particular, called on the National Assembly to provide bipartisan support for its implementation.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands after holding a joint press conference in Pyongyang on Sept. 19, 2018, to announce the outcome of their bilateral summit that began the previous day. (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands after holding a joint press conference in Pyongyang on Sept. 19, 2018, to announce the outcome of their bilateral summit that began the previous day. (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap)

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