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(2nd LD) Koreas to meet this week for talks on cooperation in medical, health sectors

All News 11:26 December 10, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS ministry's response to media report on Kaesong park operation in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- Officials of South and North Korea will meet this week to discuss cooperation in medical and health sectors, including exchanging information on infectious diseases, the unification ministry said Monday.

The meeting will be held Wednesday at the joint liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong. This follows up on an agreement in November to cooperate in preventing the spread of infectious diseases and exchange information on such diseases on a trial basis this year.

Kwon Jun-wook, a senior health and welfare ministry official, will head a South Korean delegation to the talks. His North Korean counterpart will be Kim Yun-chol, an official of the North's health ministry.

During the meeting, the two sides are expected to exchange influenza-related information and share data on infectious diseases that could affect their countries next year, the ministry said.

The ministry also said that the two Koreas will finalize a cooperation project to unearth historic relics in the Manwoldae site in Kaesong on Monday and resume the work in February next year.

The two Koreas have conducted joint excavation work at the site, where the palace of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) used to be located. Some 10 South Koreans have been working with 50-60 North Korean people on the excavation project, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the ministry denied a media report that North Korea is surreptitiously operating the shuttered Kaesong industrial park.

Operations at the park, known as a symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation and successful cross-border economic cooperation, came to a halt in 2016 following the North's fourth nuclear weapons test and long-range missile provocations.

"No such signs (of operations) have been detected or confirmed," the ministry said.

The leaders of the two Koreas agreed in their September summit to "normalize" the operation of the industrial park as soon as conditions are met.


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