N. Korea lives up to only one agreement out of 17

Isaac Waters, Sept. 19, 2019, 9:20 a.m.


The inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang a year ago resulted in 17 agreements between the two sides, but North Korea has lived up to just a single one.

The only agreement that North Korea fulfilled was a ground-breaking ceremony to reconnect railways and roads severed by the 1950-53 Korean War.

International sanctions at any rate prevented actual construction from starting. Shortly after the summit, the two Koreas also held a ceremony marking the 11th anniversary of a summit between then-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2007.

But plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement together this year were scrapped.

Officials also met several times last year to discuss cooperation in forestry and health services, but no progress has been made since then. The other agreements were not even addressed due to a lack of interest from the North.

The South has repeatedly asked for meetings to discuss the joint celebration, the establishment of an inter-Korean military committee, video reunions of families separated during the Korean War and a visit to the South by Kim.

But North Korea either ignored the requests or refused.

It appears that North Korea was chiefly interested in the resumption of lucrative cross-border business projects, but when they failed to materialize due to international sanctions, it lost interest in dealing with the South.

Yoo Dong-ryul of the Seoul-based Korea Institute of Liberal Democracy said the joint declaration signed in Pyongyang "has virtually been scrapped and left only a bad taste in the mouths of the public."

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