Negotiations to resume two inter-Korean economic cooperation projects are possible but there need to be ways to prevent the flow of “bulk cash” into North Korea, a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official said Thursday on condition of anonymity.
In his New Year speech Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is willing to reopen the South-North joint industrial park in the North’s border town of Kaesong and resume the suspended tourism program to Mount Kumgang without any preconditions.
“(In my personal opinion), to enable the resumption of the Kaesong complex, we need to find a way to prevent the supply of bulk cash (to the North) so that we can get an exemption from (UN Security Council) sanctions,” the official said.
Running the Kaesong complex in the same way it had previously operated before the shutdown in February 2016 with large cash injections from the South will be problematic due to suspicions that the money could be funneled into the North Korean regime‘s nuclear weapons program.
On Thursday, President Moon Jae-in said he will push for sanctions exemption to restart the two inter-Korean projects.
“My administration will cooperate with the international community, including the United States, to resolve the remaining issues such as international sanctions as soon as possible.”
The South Korean government held a National Security Council meeting on Jan. 3 to review the overall situation for the resumption of the two projects
By Park Han-na(firstname.lastname@example.org)