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DPRK, ROK Agree on Economic Aid, Cooperation

The 10th Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee meeting concluded its sessions on early Tuesday with a 12-point joint statement on promoting inter-Korean economic cooperation in various fields.

After overnight negotiation, delegations of South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed to hold next round of the inter-Korean economic talks on Sept. 28 in Pyongyang.
South Korea also agreed to provide raw materials to the DPRK to help it produce clothing, footwear and soap from the year of 2006, according to the joint statement.

The two sides agreed to jointly exploit coal, magnesium and zinc mines in the territory of the DPRK from the next year. At the same time, the DPRK should provide South Korea with investment assurance on those underground resources, said the joint statement, adding the two sides are to hold a working-level meeting to further discuss related issues in August.

Seoul and Pyongyang decided to open an inter-Korean economic cooperation office in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong in September.

South Korea and the DPRK are jointly building an industrial park in Kaesong, where a dozen of South Korean companies already opened factories.

In order to discuss affairs of joint fishing, breeding, processing of aquatic products, the two sides agreed to hold inter-Korean fisheries talks on July 25-27 also in Kaesong.

The inter-Korean economic talks officially kicked off on last Sunday at the Grand Hilton Hotel in northern Seoul, one day after the DPRK and the United States reached the agreement to resume the six-party nuclear talks in the last week of July.

The inter-Korean economic dialogues had been suspended for 13 months. The 15th round of Inter-Korean Ministerial Meeting held in late June here decided to reopen the economic meeting in July.

The DPRK delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Construction and Building Material Industries Choe Yong Gon, is scheduled to leave Seoul for home on Tuesday morning.

(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2005)

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