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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All News 16:00 June 07, 2019

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

N. Korea yet to respond to S. Korea's offer to work together to fight African swine fever

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has not responded to South Korea's offer to work together to stem the spread of African swine fever after Pyongyang recently confirmed the outbreak of the highly contagious animal disease, the unification ministry said Monday.

Last month, North Korea reported to the World Organization for Animal Health the outbreak of African swine fever at a farm in its northern region bordering China.

On Friday, the South proposed through an inter-Korean liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong that the two Koreas work together to prevent the disease from spreading, and the North said it will review the proposal.

Businesspeople to visit U.S. next week to call for reopening of Kaesong complex

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean businesspeople who had operated factories at a shuttered joint industrial complex in North Korea, will visit the United States next week to call for the reopening of the factory park, their representatives said Monday.

Eight people -- five from the Corporate Association of Gaeseong Industrial Complex and three from the Gaeseong Industrial District Foundation -- plan to leave Seoul next Monday for the weeklong visit, they said.

During the trip, the South Korean business leaders will attend a seminar organized by Rep. Brad Sherman and meet with lawmakers and experts as well as a State Department official in Washington before heading to Los Angeles, they said.

Minister says Seoul doing utmost for resumption of U.S.-N. Korea talks

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said Tuesday that South Korea is working hard to help restart the stalled nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States, believing that progress in their negotiations will be key to improving inter-Korean relations.

"The resumption of U.S.-North Korea negotiations is an important priority," Kim told a meeting with foreign journalists in Seoul. "In order to make progress on inter-Korean talks for peace and mutual prosperity on the Peninsula, the U.S.-North Korea relations should make progress as well,"

"The unification ministry is exerting its utmost efforts to set conditions for the resumption of U.S.-North Korea dialogue through inter-Korean relations," Kim added.

S. Korea approves donation plan for U.N. agencies to help N. Korean people

SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday approved a plan to donate US$8 million to U.N. agencies for their humanitarian assistance projects in North Korea, the unification ministry said Wednesday.

Last month, the ministry unveiled the plan to donate $8 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) for their projects to support the nutrition of children and pregnant women in North Korea and address their health problems.

On Wednesday, the unification ministry's inter-Korean exchange promotion panel, consisting of government officials and civilian experts, reviewed and endorsed the donation plan, the ministry said.

Vice minister appointed as new co-chief of inter-Korean liaison office

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- Vice Unification Minister Suh Ho was appointed Friday as the new South Korean chief of an inter-Korean joint liaison office, the ministry said.

Suh, who sworn in as the new vice minister last month, will travel to the North's border city of Kaesong next week to oversee the work at the liaison office and consult with the North over a possible change in the office's mode of operation, Lee Eugene, the ministry's deputy spokeswoman, said.

The two Koreas launched the liaison office in September and agreed to hold a meeting of its co-heads -- one from each side -- every week to discuss cross-border issues. The weekly meeting, however, has not been held in the months since the collapse of the Hanoi summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in February.

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