Seoul and Pyongyang will hold high-level talks next Monday on the southern part of the truce village of Panmunjom, the ROK Ministry of Unification (MOU) announced on Friday.
The meeting will see the two sides discuss plans to implement the Pyongyang Declaration signed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in September.
The Moon administration will dispatch Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-gyon as chief delegate, the unification ministry said in a statement.
No details on the make-up of the North’s delegation have been released, though Chairman of the DPRK’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (CPRC) Ri Son Gwon has typically served as chief delegate to similar talks this year.
In its statement Friday, the unification ministry said a schedule for sectoral follow-up meetings will be discussed and confirmed at the high-level talks.
“Through this round of high-level talks, the South and the North will comprehensively negotiate ways to implement the Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018,” the MOU said.
Monday’s inter-Korean high-level meeting will come less than two weeks after a meeting between Cho and Ri in Pyongyang during an event marking the 11th anniversary of the 2007 October 4 Declaration.
Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Kwon Deok-cheol and head of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) Chung Jae-suk accompanied Cho on his trip to Pyongyang.
After that meeting, the unification minister said the two Koreas should immediately push forward with plans to hold a joint on-site survey of sections of North Korean railway set to be connected to the South.
September’s Pyongyang Declaration saw Kim and Moon agree to push ahead with economic cooperation, including a commitment to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for railway and road connections within the year.
The South Korean presidential office last month said Seoul would hold a consultation with the United Nations Command (UNC) to begin the on-site survey this month.
Plans to open a facility for family reunion meetings in the Mount Kumgang area will also likely be discussed on Monday.
A schedule for inter-Korean Red Cross talks may also be on the agenda, with the unification minister having earlier in the month said that setting up “video reunions” between separated families should happen soon.
Other pending issues include a performance by a Pyongyang Art Troupe in Seoul, which the two Koreas agreed in September would take place this month.
“The government will advance the inter-Korean relations to a higher stage by implementing the Panmunjom and Pyongyang Joint Declarations in a speedy manner, and continue our endeavor for peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula,” the MOU said in Friday’s statement.
Meanwhile, the two Koreas on Friday held working-level military talks on the implementation of an inter-Korean military agreement signed as an annex to Pyongyang Declaration last month, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) said
The meeting was held at Military Armistice Commission (MAC) Conference Room in the Joint Security Area (JSA) in Panmunjom between 1000 to 1105 local time.
Seoul and Pyongyang each dispatched four-member delegations, with director of the North Korea policy division at the ROK defense ministry Cho Yong-kun and DPRK Army Colonel Om Chang Nam serving as chief delegate.
The talks saw both sides review progress in ongoing minesweeping efforts in the JSA and areas of joint remains recovery.
The two Koreas also discussed issues including the demilitarization of JSA, the establishment of an inter-Korean road within the joint remains recovery site, and the withdrawal of guard posts in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on a trial basis.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: South Korean Joint Press Corps
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