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S. Korea, Germany to ink deal on unification advisory panel

All Headlines 16:56 September 18, 2014

SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to ink a preliminary deal with Germany to create an advisory group in an effort to learn lessons from the European country's unification, Seoul's foreign ministry said Thursday.

The two countries' foreign ministries are scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding late Thursday (German time) to establish an advisory group consisting of mostly officials from both countries and some professors. Both sides will develop and share information and wisdom about foreign policies toward reunification through the new entity.

The move is a follow-up to the summit between the leaders of the two countries in March.

"The two sides are expected to exchange views by shedding light on Germany's unification process and its foreign policy at that time as well as reviewing South Korea's reunification vision," Noh Kwang-il, spokesman at Seoul's foreign ministry, told a regular press briefing.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany. In 1990, Germany's reunification took place.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has unveiled her unification proposal, known as "the Dresden proposal." Park held out the prospect of the South increasing humanitarian assistance and building infrastructure in North Korea if trust builds between the two sides. North Korea has since angrily rejected the proposal, denouncing it as Seoul's attempt to absorb it.

The foreign ministry said that the advisory group's first meeting is likely to take place in Seoul in late October or early November. It added that members of the group are expected to meet at least once a year.

Seoul's unification ministry has been operating a similar consultative group on reunification with its counterpart in Germany to learn lessons from the European nation's experience in its unification process and internal integration.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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