Gov’t to seek talks with U.S. to resume Kaesong complex, Kumgang tour

Mar 05, 2019, 08:55 am

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President Moon Jae-in presides over a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) at the presidential Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on March 4./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Lee Seok-jong

The government has decided to push for 1.5-track dialogue with the United States and North Korea, hold military talks with North Korea and consult the U.S. on resuming Kaesong Industrial Complex and private tours to Mount Kumgang as a way to continue the momentum of U.S.-North Korea denuclearization dialogue.

President Moon Jae-in received briefings from ministers of foreign affairs, unification and defense on the follow-up measures of the second North Korea-U.S. summit during a plenary session of the National Security Council (NSC) held on Monday at Cheong Wa Dae, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom.

“We will prepare a practical mediation plan between the United States and North Korea,” Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said during the NSC meeting. “Based on our experience of holding three-way talks with the United States and North Korea in Sweden, we will seek ways to hold a 1.5-track dialogue,” Kang added. 

“We will seek ways to promote the main projects of the North-South Joint Declaration within the boundaries of sanctions against North Korea,” Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said. “We will prepare measures to resume Kaesong Industrial Complex and tours to Mount Kumgang to discuss with the United States,” he said. 

“While strengthening the strategic communication with the United States, we will faithfully carry out the September 19 military agreement in order to maintain the momentum of dialogue with North Korea,” Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo said. “We will seek to hold inter-Korean military dialogue this month to prepare a practical plan to implement the September 19 military agreement,” Jeong said. 

During the session, president Moon Jae-in asked the ministers to “actively find ways to assist North Korea-U.S. dialogue by developing inter-Korean relations within the boundaries of sanctions.” He also asked them to prepare for the start of inter-Korean projects that were reached under the Panmunjom Declaration and Pyongyang Declaration. 

“The second North Korea-U.S. summit, though it is very disappointing in its result, was a chance to confirm the very important progress that has been made through dialogue between the two countries,” Moon said. “We hope that both countries will continue their dialogue and that their leaders meet again quickly to reach an agreement that was held off this time.”

“In the process, our role has become important once again,” Moon said. 

The president also urged ministries to work in three areas: the complete shutdown of Yongbyon nuclear facilities, partial lifting of economic sanctions, and the establishment of a U.S. liaison office in North Korea. 

“What’s more urgent than preparing a mediation plan is to avoid both the United States and North Korea from running off the track of dialogue,” Moon said. “We have come to this point in a hard way, but the whole thing can collapse suddenly. Let’s do our best so that both Washington and Pyongyang have patience and do not run off the track of dialogue,” he added.

In addition to top security officials, the NSC meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon; Kim Boo-kyun, Minister of the Interior and Safety; Suh Hoon, chief of the National Intelligence Service; No Young-min, Moon’s chief of staff; and some other senior presidential staff.

#NSC #Kaesong complex #Kumgang tour 
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