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S. Korea pursues inter-Korean event to mark 20th summit anniversary

All Headlines 13:22 April 24, 2020

SEOUL, April 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is seeking to hold a joint event with North Korea to mark the 20th anniversary of the first-ever inter-Korean summit despite coronavirus fears, the unification ministry said Friday.

On Friday, South Korea released a midterm plan for developing inter-Korean relations as part of the government's master plan on inter-Korean relations for 2018-2022.

Under the plan, South Korea said it will cooperate with nongovernmental organizations to organize a joint commemorative event and inter-Korean exchanges with the North marking the 20th anniversary of the so-called June 15 Declaration and to expand relations through international events.

"We plan to prepare ways to push ahead with the event, taking the COVID-19 situation and inter-Korean relations into consideration," Cho Hey-sil, the ministry's deputy spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.

The ministry, however, did not lay out other details.

The two Koreas adopted the declaration for reconciliation and cooperation during the inter-Korean summit talks between then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in June 2000.

South and North Korea had held joint events to commemorate the day from 2001 to 2008, but they have held events separately since 2009, Cho added.

The government also plans to push for inter-Korean cooperative projects, such as the reunion of separated families and allowing individual trips to the North, as well as a rail construction project along the east coast as part of efforts to reconnect railways across the border with North Korea.

It is, however, unclear whether the North would respond to any proposal for cooperation amid chilled inter-Korean relations and Pyongyang's nationwide fight to ward off an outbreak of the coronavirus on its soil.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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