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(LEAD) S. Koreans embark on trip to N. Korea for talks on forestry cooperation

All News 09:08 December 10, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES headline, first 2 paras with info on departure)

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean officials and experts embarked on a trip to North Korea on Monday for talks on forestry cooperation.

A 10-member team led by Lim Sang-seop, a senior official with the Korea Forestry Service, left for Beijing early in the day from which it will fly to the North on Tuesday for a three-day stay in Pyongyang.

The trip is part of efforts to implement an agreement reached in October to jointly combat pine tree pests and other forestry diseases until March next year, the ministry said.

South Korea sent about 50 tons of pesticides to the North late last month to help it combat the spread of pine tree diseases.

The South Koreans will review the distribution of the chemicals and visit a local tree nursery and other facilities to discuss with their North Korean counterparts ways to expand their cooperation, the ministry said.

In August, the Koreas conducted a joint field survey of the area near Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast to examine the damage caused by diseases to trees.

They also agreed during talks in October to push for the modernization of 10 tree nursery plants in North Korea this year, while promising to work together in combating forest fires and protecting ecosystems.


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