Both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea should value the spirit of the agreement advancing inter-Korean relations that was reached during recent negotiations, a senior DPRK official has said.

“It was very fortunate that the recent contact helped to defuse the danger of the touch-and-go situation … and offered an opportunity of a dramatic change in achieving peace, stability, reconciliation and cooperation between the North and the South,” Kim Yang-gon, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea told the official KCNA news agency on Thursday.

“We are pleased over the fact that the two sides sat face to face … had an exhaustive discussion to reach an agreement on issues of common concern, thus opening up an epochal phase for turning misfortune into blessings in DPRK-ROK relations,” he added.

He stressed that both sides should further develop inter-Korean relations in order to achieve reunification.

“It is of priority importance to keep afloat and develop the present trend in which the DPRK and the ROK put detente on track with much effort,” he said.

He warned that both sides should be vigilant against forces that are unwilling to see the rapid development of inter-Korean relations.

The two sides reached an agreement on Tuesday to defuse rising tensions on the peninsula following a 43-hour dialogue.

Attendees of the closed-door meeting were Kim Kwan-jin, chief security adviser to ROK President Park Geun-hye; ROK Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo; Hwang Pyong-so, top military aide to DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People’s Army; and Kim Yang-gon, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Under the six-point agreement, the two sides agreed to hold an intergovernmental dialogue in Pyongyang or Seoul at an earliest possible date to improve ties and to go ahead with talks and negotiations in various areas.

The two sides agreed to hold a working-level Red Cross contact in early September for the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Seoul and Pyongyang also agreed to facilitate wide-ranging private-sector exchanges.

(China Daily 08/28/2015 page11)