Back To Top

Inter-Korean event plan falls apart

A South Korean civic group said Friday its plan to hold a joint event in Pyongyang in celebration of a historic inter-Korean peace declaration has virtually fallen apart, with North Korea being aloof and Seoul remaining cautious. 

The June 15 South Korean Committee, which has been pushing for the plan, said it did not receive a response from its North Korean counterpart. 


During a meeting last February in China, the sides agreed to hold a joint event in Pyongyang to mark a landmark summit in 2000 between former President Kim Dae-jung and late strongman Kim Jong-il and their June 15 joint declaration, which paved the way for humanitarian and economic cooperation. 

“The joint event plan in Pyongyang has become difficult to happen,” said Lee Chang-bok, standing chair of the committee, at a press conference in central Seoul. “Considering the current physical and political situation, we‘ve decided to hold the event separately in our respective home countries.”

Lee also expressed resentment over the Moon Jae-in administration’s lack of resolve for the event as another reason behind the cancelation. 

The Unification Ministry has been cautious about the event in the face of souring public sentiment due to North Korea‘s ongoing missile tests and the recent rejection of an offer of civilian humanitarian aid. 

The ministry on Friday reiterated its support for the implementation of the 2000 statement and the Oct. 4 declaration, which resulted from a 2007 summit between then President Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il. 

”Our position remains unchanged that the current severance in inter-Korean relations is not desirable in ensuring stability on the peninsula, so that we will continue approving civilian exchanges within the extent that does not damage the sanctions framework,” deputy ministry spokesperson Lee Yoo-jin said at a regular news briefing. 

The joint celebration took place in Seoul and Pyongyang between 2003 and 2008 but has since been idle amid Pyongyang‘s military provocations and strained cross-border relations. 

By Jung Min-kyung (
catch table
Korea Herald daum