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Review: 10 years between DPRK and S. Korea

12-20-2011 13:56 BJT Special Report:DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il dies |

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While residents of the DPRK are mourning the death of their leader Kim Jong Il, the news took many South Koreans by surprise. Once a single nation, the past 60 years have brought moments of both confrontation and reconciliation between them.

In 2000, it seemed that relations on the Korean peninsula were warming. ROK president Kim Dae Jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong- Il held their first Inter-Korean Summit - resulting in the signing of the June 15th North-South Declaration - which guided a renewal of communication and cooperation between the two countries. As a result of the talks, many families spilt apart during the Korean War were given a chance to reunite in Pyongyang and Seoul.

In 2000,ROK president Kim Dae Jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong- Il held their first Inter-Korean Summit, resulting in the signing of the June 15th North-South Declaration.

When President Roh Moo-hyun took office he made a number of symbolic gestures towards the North in meeting with the DPRK leader, including crossing the Military Demarcation Line by foot.

The North and South resumed daily train operations between the two sides in December 2007 after which the countries seemed to be enjoying strengthening ties socially politically and economically.

But South Korea’s current president Lee Myung-bak ended the Sunshine Policy after his election, taking a harder line on the North side. His government stopped Red Cross contacts, meetings between families separated by the Korean War, and ended tourist exchanges with the North.

The sinking of the Cheonan was a low point in North-South relations. After the sinking of the South Korean Naval vessel near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow sea killed 46 seamen, the ROK restarted a "psychological battle" against the North. And in 2010 a November 23 dispute over Yeonpyeong Island further intensified the situation on the Peninsula.

The two sides later held a military meeting in Panmunjom on February 2011 - the first time since the Yeonpyeong attack, raising hopes of normalizing relations.

Later when The DPRK was ravaged by the floods in 2011, ROK organizations sent more than 2000 tons of flour to DPRK residents. And the South Korean government later transferred more than five million US dollars from the North-South Cooperation Fund to The DPRK to help children and pregnant women in the North.

Now we will have to wait and see how Kim Jong Il's death will color the continuing story of confrontation and reconciliation between the sides.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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