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North, South Korean officials meet in fresh bid to improve ties

Dec 15, 2015 Senior officials from North and South Korea recently met for talks in a bid to improve bilateral ties and resume cooperation projects, such as cross-border tours.

The relationship between the two Korean nations has experienced a series of strains for nearly six years.

Hwang Boo-gi, South Korea’s vice Unification Minister, met with Jon Jong Su, vice director of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea at the jointly-run Kaesong industrial zone.

The meeting was the first forum for high-level discussions between the two countries after an agreement in August ended an armed standoff which saw an exchange of artillery fire across their border.

Speaking at the beginning of the meeting, Jon Jong Su said:

“Meanwhile, distrust and confrontation have run deep and the wall between us been getting high. Let’s break down that barrier and pave the ground (for the reunification),”

Responding to this, Hwang Boo-gi said:

“When we make the first step, it is important to keep walking straight. Let’s make the right step on the first road, so that we can open a path to reunification,”

The two countries, technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, had severed all ties since early 2010. This occurred after a South Korean navy ship was sunk by a torpedo, which the south said was fired from a North Korean submarine.

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