SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- South Korea planned to expand non- political exchanges with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) this year in a bid to brace for future reunification, the ministry in charge of inter-Korean relations said Thursday.
According to the Unification Ministry's annual policy report to President Park Geun-hye, the ministry will push to expand civilian exchanges between the two Koreas to recover homogeneity among Koreans who have lived away from each other for six decades since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in armistice, not peace treaty.
The report titled "Laying ground for reunification era on the Korean Peninsula" said that Seoul will provide breed, seed and farm tools with Pyongyang this year to restart cooperation in agricultural and livestock sectors. Such aid will be offered under close consultation with foreign non-governmental organizations ( NGO), the ministry said.
President Park said in her New Year's press conference that if South Korea supports the DPRK's agricultural and livestock sectors, it will equal to substantial aid to people in the DPRK, noting that in the process of supporting, a path will be opened for close intimacy among Koreans.
So-called "green dtente," which pursues peace and stability through environment-friendly projects, will be pushed for by joint forestation and a project of preventing forest disease and pest.
South Korea's agricultural aid to the DPRK was suspended under the previous Lee Myung-bak administration from 2007 to 2011 amid the worsened inter-Korean relations. From 1999 to 2007, Seoul sent a total of 2,555,000 tons of fertilizer to Pyongyang while offering seeds and pesticides.
U.S. welcomes agreement on family reunions on Korean Peninsula
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Wednesday welcomed an agreement by Pyongyang and Seoul to resume family reunions, calling it "an example" of improved inter-Korean relations.
"We certainly welcome the decision by South Korea and North Korea to set a date for family reunions," State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters at a regular news briefing. Full story
Two Koreas begin family reunion talks
SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) began working-level contact at the border village of Panmunjeom on Wednesday to sort out details on the agreed reunion of separated families.
Three delegates from both sides began the reunion talks around 10 a.m. at Tongilgak, an administrative building on the DPRK side of the truce village of Panmunjeom, Seoul's Unification Ministry said. Full story
Two Koreas agree to hold working-level talks for family reunion this week
SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People 's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed Monday to hold working-level talks between Red Cross officials this week to sort out details on the agreed family reunion.
Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told a press briefing that Pyongyang accepted Seoul's earlier proposal for the working- level contact, saying that the DPRK offered to hold the talks on Wednesday or Thursday at South Korea's convenience at Tonilgak, an administrative building on the DPRK side of the truce village of Panmunjeom. Full story