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South, North Korean groups to meet over forestry cooperation this week

All Headlines 11:32 June 25, 2014

SEOUL, June 25 (Yonhap) -- South and North Korean civic groups will hold a meeting this week on ways to resume forestry cooperation, the unification ministry said Wednesday, indicating signs of reviving inter-Korean contacts.

The Unification Ministry approved South Korean civic group Green One Korea's plan to send officials to the North Korean border city of Kaesong on Thursday for a meeting with the North's Council for National Reconciliation, according to spokeswoman Park Soo-jin.

The two sides are expected to discuss forest protection measures as well as reforestation assistance.

The upcoming meeting marks the revival of the two Koreas' forestry cooperation, which had been suspended since the South Korean government's sanctions against North Korea were adopted as punishment for the communist country's deadly sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in 2010.

Before the punitive measures banning inter-Korean exchange, the South Korean civic group had been helping the North with reforestation and forestry protection since 2007.

It also marks the resuscitation of inter-Korean contacts cut off since joint Seoul-Washington military drills were conducted in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The North had strongly protested the joint war games.

Also on Wednesday, three South Korean scholars crossed the inter-Korean border to hold a meeting with their North Korean counterparts in Kaesong for their decade-old project to publish a joint Korean language dictionary.

Green One Korea has sought to resume forestry cooperation with the North since early 2014, but the Seoul government had reportedly withheld approval, citing inter-Korean tensions.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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