19th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks Open

Pusan, July 12 (KCNA Correspondent) — The 19th north-south ministerial talks opened in Pusan, south Korea on July 12.

Present at the talks from the north side were members of the delegation headed by Chief Councilor of the Cabinet Kwon Ho Ung and suite members and from the south side members of the delegation with Minister of Unification Ri Jong Sok as chief delegate and suite members.

Keynote speeches were made at the talks.

The head of the north side’s delegation spoke about the need for both sides to have an in-depth discussion on realistic and significant ways for substantial progress in the north-south relations and prove the talks fruitful before the nation, before advancing a series of proposals reflecting the north side’s principled stand on immediate pending issues between the two sides.

Firstly, he suggested the north and the south to allow unrestricted visits to holy places and scenic spots symbolic of each other’s system and dignity and visitors’ destinations, provided that they recognize and respect each other’s ideology and system.

He proposed that the south side should no longer restrict visits to holy places and scenic spots in the areas of the north side by the south side’s delegation to the upcoming August 15 grand festival for national reunification due in Pyongyang as a practical measure of recognizing and respecting each other’s ideology and system and pulling down the last barrier symbolic of the stand-off between the two sides in terms of systems.

Secondly, he urged the south side to stop joint military exercises with outside forces in order to prevent a war and ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula.

He once again urged the south side to completely halt all the joint military exercises with foreign forces from next year which will mark the 7th anniversary of the June 15 joint declaration with a view to ensuring peace and providing a guarantee for peaceful reunification with the independent force of the nation.

Thirdly, he called for the repeal of the “National Security Law”, which runs counter to the June 15 joint declaration and lays a stumbling block in the way of national reconciliation and unity.

Fourthly, he proposed putting compatriotism and humanitarian aid on a higher stage, guided by the idea of “By our nation itself.”

He underscored the need to promptly settle pending issues high on the agenda on which both sides agreed in principle at the last ministerial talks and arrange reunion at Mt. Kumgang Resort and video meetings between separated families and relatives on the occasion of upcoming harvest moon day and thus give further momentum to the atmosphere of humanitarian cooperation between the north and the south.

The chief delegate of the south side made a speech.

The talks continue.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rnw/3485334449/

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