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S. Korea, U.S. discuss expanding inter-Korean cooperation Updated: 2020-02-10 16:10:46 KST

Discussions are underway between South Korea and the United States on how to get inter-Korean relations on track, and bring North Korea back to the nuclear negotiating table.
On Monday, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for North Korea, Alex Wong, met with Seoul's Director General for Korean Peninsula Peace, Rhee Dong-yeol, at Seoul's Foreign Ministry.
The main agenda: enabling South Korean citizens to travel to North Korea.
At his New Year's press conference, President Moon Jae-in had specifically pointed to this as one of the things that can be worked on despite the international sanctions.

"Individual trips to North Korea do not violate international sanctions, so I believe we can definitely work on that."

This requires close coordination between Seoul and Washington because the sanctions limit the objects and the amount of foreign currency that visitors can take to the North.
According to a diplomatic source, Seoul emphasized that individual trips to North Korea will be conducted on a humanitarian basis, mainly for families separated by the Korean War.

Rhee Dong-yeol and Alex Wong also touched upon a couple of Seoul's other initiatives.

"I believe that the Seoul-Washington meeting deals with President Moon's inter-Korean cooperation proposals like connecting railways and roads with North Korea and working together on the border area."

The U.S. reportedly responded that it understands Seoul's views but there were no detailed discussions on sanctions.

Seoul is also hoping to reopen the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, which shut down on February 10th 4 years ago during the Park Geun-hye administration as Pyeongyang conducted its 4th nuclear test.
The Unification Ministry says the complex is a crucial means to find peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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