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Han River estuary is space for inter-Korean cooperation: Seoul's unification minister
Updated: 2021-10-14 07:51:30 KST
Once called the Jo River "jo" meaning "grandfather" the Han River Estuary used to be a busy waterway transporting people and goods from the West Sea to the inland port of Mapo-naru.
Having lain almost undisturbed since the Korean War, it was visited on Wednesday for the first time by a civilian vessel from the South.
Onboard the boat, Seoul's unification minister, Lee In-young, said the estuary is a peace zone for the two Koreas, and he again voiced hope for an early resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and implementation of the two Koreas' agreements and cooperative projects.

"The Han River Estuary is a space of open possibilities that stimulates new approaches and creativity in planning inter-Korean cooperation, such as enforcing the sanctions on the North in a flexible manner."

Though entry to the Han River Estuary has been highly restricted over the years, it has been important in building peace.
In the October 4th Declaration of 2007, Seoul and Pyeongyang agreed in principle that the estuary should be used actively by both sides.
And in a military agreement signed at a 2018 summit between President Moon Jae-in and the North's leader, Kim Jong-un, the two sides agreed to allow the joint use of the estuary, and conducted joint research on the waterway that November.
Now, Seoul is hoping to improve ties at an early date, especially considering the recent restoration of communication channels.

"We hope to secure a video system the two Koreas can use to hold a virtual summit and other high-level talks to improve inter-Korean ties."

The minister further pledged to continue working to implement the peace projects agreed so far and to engage with the North to propose new ones.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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