Unification ministry to expand bureau in charge of inter-Korean exchanges

SEOUL-- The unification ministry plans to carry out an internal shake-up to expand its bureau in charge of cross-border exchanges and cooperation, a government source said Monday, in an apparent effort to revive the stalled inter-Korean relations.

The reorganization plan also calls for establishing a new division that will take charge of border cooperation issues, such as Seoul's push to turn the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which bisects the two Koreas, into a global peace zone.

The new division will be placed under the Office of Exchange and Cooperation.

The restructuring plan, which will be the largest one carried out at the ministry in a decade, comes at a time when inter-Korean relations remain stalled amid scant progress in denuclearization negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

North Korea has blamed the South for dragging its feet in pushing for inter-Korean cooperation projects for fear of violating sanctions and has remained unresponsive to Seoul's repeated offers for talks.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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