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PM: S. Korea to seek forestation project in N. Korea

All Headlines 17:29 May 03, 2018

SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to launch a project to help plant trees in North Korea as part of efforts to boost reconciliation in the wake of last week's historic summit between the two sides, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Thursday.

Lee made the remark during a speech at the opening ceremony of a national arboretum in the southeastern county of Bonghwa, saying forestation is one of the cooperation projects the South can pursue with the North regardless of international sanctions on Pyongyang.

"Last week's inter-Korean summit laid a dramatic groundwork for denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Various agreements were also reached to broadly improve inter-Korean relations," Lee said in the speech read on his behalf by Kim Jae-hyun, head of the Korea Forest Service.

"Among the projects aimed at improving inter-Korean relations, we're going to start those not subject to U.N. sanctions on North Korea as soon as necessary preparations are complete. A project helping with North Korea's forestation is among them," he said.

Lee said he will have the Korea Forest Service and regional governments work together to launch preparations for the forestation project.

Mountains in North Korea are believed to have suffered severe deforestation, especially since famine swept through the impoverished nation in the mid- to late-1990s, when people cut down trees for fuel and to extend farmland.


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