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Joint Channel Investigation of the Two Koreas in the Han River

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Date 2018.12. 4. Hit 389

 

- The South and North usher in a new water way of peace in the estuary of the Han River -


 
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF; Minister Kim, Young-Choon) and Ministry of National Defence (Minister Jeong, Kyeongdoo) decided to initiate a joint channel investigation with the North on Nov. 5, 2018 targeting shared areas to use in the estuary of the Han River. As the first ever event in 65 years since the Ceasefire Agreement in 1953, this project abides by the Military Affairs Agreement to Implement Panmunjom Declaration signed on Sep. 19, 2018.  

 
The investigation would expectedly turn the river mouth into the area for peace from a risky place of potentially accidental conflict induced by the absence of the military demarcation line. 


While the area allows freedom of commercial navigation in accordance with the 65-year Agreement, its control scheme as a sensitive zone has prohibited private vessels’ sailing, resulting in restriction on basic investigation, like hydrographic survey, and organizing information including mapping any nautical chart.   


The military authorities of the two Koreas agreed on military security of free passage for private vessels’ navigation in the estuary by the September-19 Military Affairs Agreement. They also reached the agreement on organizing a joint investment team and conducting the joint channel survey at the 10th general-level talks. 


Accordingly, the South and North plan to form the team of 10 persons each, including military and hydrographic experts, for the project commencing on Nov. 5, 2018. Also, 6 research vessels of the South will be assigned where investigators from both Koreas are on board. 

 

The whole-targeted water is expected to be 3 sections, A, B and C, for more thorough and efficient investigation of which  deadline is the end of this year.  Upon completing the project, a nautical chart will be provided for security of free navigation of private vessels.  

 

The MOF, along with the two authorities, is willing to constantly endeavor to implement the September-19-stipulating investigation without a fiasco in the plan.

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