Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, October 24, 2002

DPRK, South Korea Issue Joint Statement After Talks

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea issued a joint statement in the early hours of Wednesday following the eighth inter-Korean ministerial talks in Pyongyang, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported.


South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) released an eight main point joint statement Wednesday for the eighth inter-Korean ministerial talks in Pyongyang, saying the two sides will aggressively cooperate in settling all issues, reported South Korean national news agency Yonhap News.

The statement was announced at the last plenary session of the talks convened at Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang early in the morning after South Korean chief delegate Jeong Se-hyun and his DPRK counterpart Kim Ryong-song fine-tuned its contents at their final meeting, said Yonhap.

The ministerial talks were originally scheduled to be finished on Tuesday, but extended for an additional day to Wednesday for the two parties to narrow their differences, said Yonhap.

Both sides positively evaluated the recent inter-Korean relations' developments, which are in accordance with the spirit of the June 15, 2000 South-North Joint Declaration and agreed to continue to make efforts to implement the inter-Korean joint declaration, according to the statement.

The two sides shall make joint efforts to ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula under the spirit of above joint declaration and actively cooperate with each other in resolving relevant issues, including nuclear issue, through dialogue, the statement underscored.

Moreover, the two sides shall have cabinet-level talks to speed up the reconstruction of Gyeonggui and Donghae inter-Korean railways and roads, said the statement.

According to the statement, South Korea and the DPRK plan to discuss details related to the scheduled launching of the construction of Kaesong Industrial Complex in the DPRK this December, and the former will open an office inside the complex when it is completed.

The two delegations also agreed to hold a working-level officials meeting at Mount Geumgang in the DPRK in November to talk on inter-Korean maritime cooperation issue, mainly on ensuring the safe passage of civilian ships through each other's seas, and striking a maritime accord, according to the statement.

Besides, the two parties reiterated that a permanent meeting place for separated families should be set up as early as possible at Mount Geumgang.

They agreed to discuss the transportation of people and materials when the inter-Korean railways or roads open. And they will hold working-level contact at Mount Geumgang at an early date to discuss allowing South Korea's fishermen to use part of the DPRK's fishing grounds, said the statement.

The ninth minister-level talks were agreed to be held in Seoul in mid-January 2003.

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