SEOUL, South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Wednesday that private-sector exchange with North Korea will likely increase going forward in line with improving relations between the two countries.

"There may be areas you might not be satisfied with, but progress will be made in earnest in terms of private-sector support for and cooperation with North Korea as relations between the two Koreas improve," Cho told an international conference on North Korea in Seoul.

"To make peace felt by all citizens of the South and the North in the form of practical improvements in their lives, diverse activities on the private level as well as government-to-government cooperation are important," he added.

The liberal government of Prescient Moon Jae-in drew up a plan in September 2017 to provide US$8 million worth of humanitarian support for North Korea through global institutions, but it has not yet been carried out.

Cho admitted that there have been things that have not been fulfilled as promised but struck an optimistic note, saying that the gate for cross-border cooperation and assistance to the North is now opening up, albeit slowly.

He said that there could be various challenges lying ahead in maintaining the fledgling peace mood but vowed to do his utmost in making peace take firm root and that the benefits of peace could be enjoyed by all the people living on the Korean Peninsula.

Source: Yonhap News Agency