Friday, December 07, 2007

Bilateral Relations: Two Koreas agree to a number of issues for future economic projects

Officials from North and South Korea have agreed on a number of issues for future economic projects. However, some key points remain unresolved.

Deputy prime ministers from Seoul and Pyongyang agreed on timetables for subcommittee meetings later this month to discuss shipbuilding, the joint Kaeseong Industrial Complex and medical services. More subcommittees will meet next year to handle topics like repairing the North’s railways and roads.

Arirang News reports that South Korea was seeking to settle communications, transit and customs issues for the joint Kaeseong complex in the North. The South wants its citizens to be able to commute to and from the complex more frequently. But the Pyongyang delegation was apparently reluctant to sign military guarantees for South Koreans.

South Korean Deputy Prime Minister Kwon O-kyu later explained to reporters that part of the reason for the lack of agreements was "the absence of certain North Korean officials", implying military personnel.