NK Proposes June 15 Commemoration

A North Korean committee today suggested by fax that North and South Korea hold a joint event to commemorate next month’s thirteenth anniversary of the 6.15 North-South Joint Declaration, the agreement signed between former President Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il at their summit in Pyongyang in 2000.

“We received a proposal from the North Korean Committee for the Realization of the 6.15 Joint Statement on the 22nd saying ‘let’s hold a joint ceremony at Kaesong or Mt. Geumgang for the 13th anniversary of the announcement of the 6.15 Joint Declaration’,” the South Korean counterpart to the North Korean committee revealed today.

The proposal stated, “The only means by which to fully restore North-South relations and open a new phase of independent unification lies in the implementation of the Joint Declaration.”

The fax went on to say that the Committee’s stance is to work with the people of South Korea to address the state of inter-Korean relations following five years of conservative rule.

“The North side’s suggesting Kaesong as one place for the event indirectly expressed their will to restore the Kaesong Industrial Complex,” the South Korean committee claimed, adding that if the event is to happen then there will need to be agreement between the two sides on the restoration of a cut military communications line and related issues.

Commenting on the proposal, an official from the Ministry of Unification said that there are fears North Korea may use any commemorative event as political opportunity, and therefore they will review the proposal in the light of the state of inter-Korean relations before making a decision.

There has not been a commemorative event for the 6.15 Inter-Korean Joint Statement since 2008. For the years up to and including 2008, an event took place in the Mt. Geumgang Tourist Resort, but ceased following the shooting of an unarmed woman by a North Korean soldier in summer that year.

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