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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All News 16:00 April 24, 2020

SEOUL, April 24 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

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No N. Koreans visited S. Korea last year amid chilly inter-Korean relations: data

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- No North Koreans traveled to South Korea last year amid chilly inter-Korean relations, government data showed Monday.

In contrast, a total of 809 North Koreans visited South Korea a year earlier, according to the data provided by the unification ministry.

Cross-border relations have remained chilled, as Pyongyang remains unresponsive to Seoul's offers for exchange and cooperation amid a stalemate in denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.

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S. Korea designates rail construction on east coast as inter-Korean cooperative project

SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Thursday designated a rail construction project along the east coast as an inter-Korean cooperative business as part of efforts to kick-start a long-suspended move to reconnect railways across the border with North Korea.

A civilian-government committee on inter-Korean exchanges made the decision for the construction of a 110.9-kilometer-long railway, paving the way for the project to move forward in a speedier manner without a preliminary feasibility study.

The envisioned railway connects the east coastal city of Gangneung to the border town of Jejin. The government hopes to ultimately link the line to a North Korean railway over the heavily armed border and eventually all the way to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

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S. Korea OKs aid group's plan to send protective clothing to N. Korea

SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has approved an aid organization's plan to send protective clothing to North Korea to help it fight the new coronavirus, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

The approval was granted Tuesday, allowing the organization to send 20,000 items of protective clothing worth around 200 million won (US$162,000), the official told reporters, without providing other details, such as the group's identity.

The move came about three weeks after the ministry gave the green light to an unidentified civilian aid group's plan to send 100 million won worth of hand sanitizers to the North, the first such state approval this year.

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

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.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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