SEOUL, South Korea's unification ministry said Wednesday the two Koreas will keep working together to actively implement last month's summit agreement amid growing concerns about delayed cooperation projects.
"There have been high-level talks agreements between the two Koreas aimed at implementing the Pyongyang Declaration and things have progressed without a hitch in such areas as forestry and general-grade military meetings," Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.
"Consultations are still under way on some schedules. (We) will continue to make efforts to get into a full-swing implementation process," he added.
The two Koreas earlier agreed to hold a North Korean art troupe performance in Seoul this month and conduct joint on-site inspections of railways in the North in late October for the connection of their rail systems, but neither has been carried out as planned, and there is no word on when they will happen.
The delay comes amid concerns that the U.S.' apparent discomfort over improvements in inter-Korean relations outpacing its denuclearization talks with the North might be taking a toll on such cross-border exchanges.
On Monday, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told lawmakers that there are some areas where South Korea and the United States might differ in dealing with North Korea.
Following U.S. nuclear envoy Stephen Biegun's trip to Seoul this week, the allies agreed to launch a working group to improve coordination on their joint approach to North Korea.
Baik said that the formation of the working group represents the two countries' commitment to deepen coordination so as to help denuclearization talks and inter-Korean relations go hand in hand.
Meanwhile, he declined comment on an opposition party's push for the dismissal of Unification Minister Cho for what it sees as his recent bungled handling of North Korean affairs.
A controversy is growing after it was belatedly revealed that Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, made rude comments to business leaders who accompanied President Moon Jae-in on his trip to Pyongyang last month. Cho said that he learned of the episode later.
The minister in charge of inter-Korean affairs is also under fire for excluding a North Korean defector-turned-journalist from the pool reporters covering high-level talks held at the truce village of Panmunjom in mid-October.
Source: Yonhap News Agency