[Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Forum] ‘End-of-war declaration’, ‘inter-Korean economic cooperation’ likely to speed up

Sep 21, 2018, 09:16 am

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The Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Forum on End-of-War Declaration and New Economic Map of the Korean Peninsula was held at the National Assembly Building on Thursday./ Photographed by Jung Jae-hoon

By AsiaToday reporter Lim Yoo-jin

Experts predicted that inter-Korean economic cooperation projects will be boosted by the Pyongyang summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The September 19 Pyongyang Declaration, agreed by the two leaders, contains concrete and substantial plans for economic cooperation in various fields, including restarting the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mount Kumgang tourism project, as well as connecting rails and roads between the two countries. Experts say that such a full-scale inter-Korean economic cooperation will lead to job creation and also give an opportunity for South Korea to make a big leap to world markets, including China, Russia, and Japan. However, many pointed out that a specific roadmap between North Korea and the United States to denuclearization and international cooperation should be preceded.

AsiaToday and Koh Yong-jin of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea held the "Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Forum on End-of-War Declaration and New Economic Map of the Korean Peninsula" at the National Assembly Building on Thursday. At the forum, experts suggested creating a new big picture and resuming inter-Korean economic cooperation as a safeguard to the establishment of sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula is necessary.

"We should create an implementation roadmap for denuclearization as a consensus process related to the denuclearization and peace regime referred in the existing agreement, such as determining whether three parties or four parties will declare an end to the Korean War," said Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul.

"From now on, joint prosperity, or economic cooperation, will become the biggest issue following the North's denuclearization process," said Cho Byong-hyun, vice-director of the IBK Economic Research Institute. "New inter-Korean economic cooperation focused on the New Economic Map initiative of the Korean Peninsula will be launched in earnest following the improvement of the North-U.S. relations and North Korea's denuclearization process with the Pyongyang inter-Korean summit as a momentum," Cho said.

In particular, experts and figures from various fields said the forum was timely and informative enough to evaluate the inter-Korean Pyongyang summit and share their opinions while calling for institutional and political reforms of the Korean society.

"The inter-Korean economic cooperation has to overcome many problems, such as intense international sanctions on North Korea. Besides, the end-of-war declaration issue needs to draw support from related countries, such as Koreas, China and the United States," said AsiaToday chairman Song In-joon.

"Inter-Korean economic cooperation projects must pass the approval of the National Assembly for the development of inter-Korean relations," Song said.

"We have a long way to go in order to bring the end-of-war declaration among the South and North Korea and the United States," Koh said. "Once the war's end is declared and a peace regime is settled, a new economic turning point will be open on the Korean Peninsula," Koh said.

"The future of the Korean Peninsula lies in the inter-Korean economic cooperation," said Chung Se-kyun, former National Assembly speaker and a Democratic Party lawmaker. 

"It is appropriate that the forum is held at the end of the Pyongyang summit," said Lee In-young, a lawmaker from the Democratic Party. "Now we have only practical issues to solve," said Baek Jae-hyun from the same party.

#inter-Korean economic cooperation forum #Koh Yong-jin #AsiaToday #Song Young-jin #end-of-war declaration 
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