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Inter-Korean cooperation stalled despite sanctions waivers from UNSC Updated: 2019-04-25 19:14:40 KST

Last week, the UN Security Council gave a greenlight to the two Koreas to work together on recovering cultural relics in the North's border town of Gaeseong at the site of a palace from Korea's ancient Goryeo Dynasty.
The most recent joint excavation was late last year -- however, researchers couldn't bring in any equipment from the South due to sanctions.
But with the recent UN sanctions waiver, Seoul can now take excavators and trucks across the border.

"We conducted the excavation for 50 days last year. But we had to cover a smaller area than we had planned because we didn't have the necessary equipment. We couldn't excavate some parts of the area and had to use our hands. It's good news that we got a sanctions waiver."

Another inter-Korean project that recently got the go ahead from the UNSC is the video reunions of families separated by the Korean War.
Seoul and Pyeongyang held face-to-face reunions last year, which brought together roughly 200 families.
But there are still tens of thousands of people on the waiting list, and Seoul's goal is to hold video reunions in addition to the face-to-face reunions.
With the granting of the exemption last month, Seoul can send over devices like monitors and camcorders to upgrade the facilities in the North.

"We've recently finished purchasing necessary items. We will discuss with the North on when and how to deliver these."

Despite Seoul's hopes, it is unclear when these inter-Korean projects will be able to begin in earnest.
Since the collapse of the Trump-Kim summit in February, Pyeongyang has been lukewarm about communicating with Seoul.
North Korea has not responded to Seoul's proposals for working-level talks for the joint excavations in Gaeseong and South Korea has not yet brought up holding video reunions.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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