DATA FIGURE: The first meeting of the ROK-US Working Group on DPRK was held in Washington. (Yonhap)
Overseas Network Dec. 21, according to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea and the United States will hold the second meeting of the DPRK-related working group today (21) to discuss the promotion of negotiations on the DPRK nuclear issue. It is worth noting that the two sides will also discuss the issue of exemption from sanctions for Korean-Korean cooperation projects.
The meeting will be held in two parts at 10 a.m. local time at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. The first part of the meeting will be presided over by South Korean Foreign Minister Li Duxun and U.S. Special Representative for DPRK Policy, Bigan. The two sides will discuss a plan to find a breakthrough for the stalled negotiations on denuclearization between the DPRK and the US.
When Bigan arrived in Korea on the 19th, he told reporters that the United States would re-examine measures to prohibit American citizens from traveling to the DPRK in order to guarantee unrestricted humanitarian assistance to the DPRK. It is expected that the two sides will also exchange views on the impact of this measure on the denuclearization negotiations.
The picture shows Korean and Korean personnel jointly inspecting the railways in the DPRK. (Figure/Ministry of Unification of Korea)
The second part of the meeting was chaired by Lee Donglie, head of the Peace Diplomacy Planning Delegation of the Korean Foreign Ministry and Alex Huang, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the United States.
It is worth noting that the two sides will discuss the issue of exemption from sanctions for Korean-Korean cooperation projects. Including the planned opening ceremony of the cross-border railway and road docking project between Korea and the DPRK on the 26th.
At present, the negotiations on denuclearization between the United States and North Korea are deadlocked. (New Zealand News Agency)
In fact, the DPRK and the ROK agreed earlier to hold the opening ceremony in late November or early December. However, it was obstructed by the United States-led United Nations Command. At that time, Korean media analysis said that, in the case of the stalemate in the North Korean nuclear negotiations, the speed-up of economic cooperation between the two Koreas caused dissatisfaction from the United States.
Not long ago, the cross-border railway and highway docking project between Korea and North Korea started with a ceremony, which was finally scheduled to be held on 26 th of this month. However, all kinds of materials transported to North Korea for the ceremony may belong to the target of sanctions, so it is necessary for South Korea and the United States to communicate in advance.
The Korean government believes that in order to hold the start ceremony smoothly as scheduled, South Korea and the United States need to reach a conclusion at todays (21) meeting. It is necessary to discuss Korean-Korean cooperation projects exempting from sanctions treatment, transportation of materials such as optical cables to the DPRK for video reunion of separated family members, upgrading of DPRK nurseries and opening international flights through the Korean-Korean sea areas.
DATA GRAPH: Korean Associated Press
In addition, South Korea and the United States will also hold consultations on the issue of humanitarian assistance to the DPRK by the Korean government through international organizations. Last September, the Korean government decided to provide US$8 million in humanitarian assistance to the DPRK through international organizations such as the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) for maternal and child health and nutrition assistance projects. But so far, the project has not been implemented.
South Korean Unification Minister Zhao Mingjun (New Zealand News Agency)
After the meeting, Li Duxun and Bigan will introduce the results of the meeting to reporters. In addition, Bigan will pay a visit to Zhao Mingjun, Minister of Unification of Korea, before attending the meeting of the working group on DPRK. In the afternoon, he will meet with relevant persons in the National Security Office of Qingwatai. Bigan will leave South Korea on the 22nd after a four-day visit to South Korea.