Koreas cel­e­brate 2007 sum­mit

It’s the first time the penin­sula has held a joint event for the an­niver­sary

Viet Nam News - - ASIA -

SEOUL/PY­ONGYANG — South and North Korea held their first-ever joint event to cel­e­brate the an­niver­sary of a 2007 sum­mit in Py­ongyang yesterday amid a grow­ing mood of rap­proche­ment.

About 160 South Kore­ans, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, politi­cians, civic, re­li­gious and cul­tural fig­ures, took part in the event in the Peo­ple’s Palace of Cul­ture in the North’s cap­i­tal to com­mem­o­rate the 11th an­niver­sary of the se­cond in­ter-Korean sum­mit on Oc­to­ber 4, 2007, which in­volved then-South Korean Pres­i­dent Roh Moo-hyun and then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

After the sum­mit, the lead­ers signed the so-called Oc­to­ber 4 Dec­la­ra­tion, promis­ing to co­op­er­ate in build­ing mu­tual trust, eas­ing ten­sions and fos­ter­ing in­ter-Korean eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion. The agree­ment was not im­ple­mented amid en­su­ing se­cu­rity ten­sions be­tween the two Koreas and a change of gov­ern­ment in the South.

The cel­e­bra­tion was part of the agree­ment be­tween South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in Septem­ber.

The par­tic­i­pants in the Py­ongyang event were joined by high-rank­ing North Korean of­fi­cials and called for faith­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­cent sum­mit agree­ments by their lead­ers.

“The his­tory of fail­ures to fully carry out the June 15 and Oc­to­ber 4 dec­la­ra­tions should not be re­peated,” they said in a joint let­ter, re­fer­ring to agree­ments reached in the first and se­cond in­ter-Korean sum­mit meet­ings in 2000 and 2007.

They also urged ef­forts to make the Korean Penin­sula free of nu­clear weapons and nu­clear threats, while work­ing to­gether in ex­pand­ing cross-bor­der ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion.

The event was also joined by high-rank­ing North Korean of­fi­cials in­clud­ing the North’s nom­i­nal leader Kim Yong-nam and Ri Son-gwon, chair­man of the Com­mit­tee for the Peace­ful Re­u­ni­fi­ca­tion of the Coun­try.

In a speech, Kim Yong-nam called for all-out ef­forts to im­ple­ment the sum­mit deals reached this year be­tween the two Koreas.

Ri ex­pressed hope for the re­sump­tion of a tour pro­gramme to Mount Kum­gang and the op­er­a­tion of an in­dus­trial com­plex in Kaesong, two ma­jor in­ter-Korean projects sus­pended years ago over chilled re­la­tions.

The South Korean del­e­ga­tion, led by Uni­fi­ca­tion Min­is­ter Cho My­oung-gyon and rul­ing Demo­cratic Party (DP) leader Lee Hae-chan, ar­rived in Py­ongyang on Thurs­day. It also in­cludes the son of for­mer Pres­i­dent Roh.

Later in the day, they were due to at­tend a mass gym­nas­tics per­for­mance, which a gov­ern­ment official here said will be short on pro­pa­ganda. Moon also watched the mass games dur­ing his visit last month.

On the side­lines, Cho, who is in charge of in­ter-Korean af­fairs, is ex­pected to meet with North Korean of­fi­cials to dis­cuss fol­low-up mea­sures to the Moon-Kim agree­ment.

The uni­fi­ca­tion min­istry ear­lier es­ti­mated South Korea may pay up to around 280 mil­lion won (US$250,000) to the North for the trip. The min­istry said the pay­ment is not a vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions on the North and that the gov­ern­ment has been dis­cussing the mat­ter with the United States. — YON­HAP

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