S Korea, DPRK sign joint declaration on peace, prosperity

By Xinhua

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Seoul : South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and top leader of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) KimJong Il signed a joint declaration in Pyongyang Thursday, said a news release issued in Seoul.

The Declaration for Advancing Inter-Korean Relations and Peace and Prosperity was signed at the Paekhawon State Guesthouse at 1:00 p.m. (0400 GMT), said the news release.

According the eight-point declaration, “historic summit meetings and several talks” were held during Roh’s three-day visit to Pyongyang.

“During the summit meetings and talks, the two leaders reaffirmed the spirit of the June 15 Joint Declaration and candidly discussed agenda concerning advancement of inter-Korean relations, the realization of peace and common prosperity, and the unification of the Korean peninsula,” said the declaration.

South Korea and the DPRK pledged to “transcend differences in ideology and institutions, thereby transforming inter-Korean relations into one of mutual respect and trust,” the declaration said, adding that they will not “interfere in the internal affairs.”

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (L) inscribes “People are great” on a notebook after visiting the West Sea Floodgate in Nampo, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Oct. 4, 2007.

It calls for ending military hostility between the two sides and a three- or four-party summit on a permanent peace treaty on the peninsula.

The two sides have agreed to frequently hold summit talks to discuss pending issues, expand cross-border investments and economic cooperation projects, make joint efforts to support the six-party talks and create a special peace zone in the Yellow Sea west of the Korean Peninsula, said the document.

They have also agreed to hold talks between their prime ministers in Seoul in November, the declaration said.

The defense ministers of the two sides will hold a meeting next month to discuss peace in the West Sea, it said.

A direct air route between Seoul and the DPRK’s Mount Paektu will be opened, said the document.

The two sides will work together to formally operate railways linking South Korea and the DPRK and allow South Korea’s cheering squad to take train to Beijing during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, it said.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (C front) visits the fitting shop of the Pyonghwa Motors’ automobile factory in Nampo, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Oct. 4, 2007.

They have agreed to construct a joint shipbuilding complex in Nampo, near Pyongyang, and open a cross-border cargo railway, the declaration said.

Moreover, South Korea and the DPRK will actively promote humanitarian cooperative projects and expand the reunion of separated families and relatives.

On Tuesday, Roh traveled some 200 km overland to Pyongyang for the inter-Korean summit, the second of its kind since the Korean Peninsula was divided more than half a century ago. Roh’s predecessor, Kim Dae-jung, traveled to the DPRK for the first inter-Korean summit in June 2000.