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North, South Korea discuss pine wilt disease prevention, tree nursery

By Wooyoung Lee
North, South Korea discuss pine wilt disease prevention, tree nursery
Park Chong-ho (C), deputy minister of the Korea Forest Service, answers questions at the Inter-Korean Dialog Office in Seoul prior to a depature for the inter-Korean joint liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong Monday. Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- North and South Korea discussed plans to conduct a joint pest control to prevent pine wilt diseases in North Korean forests and ways to modernize tree nurseries, as follow-up measures for the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang last month.

North and South Korean officials held a meeting to discuss detailed plans to implement their agreement in forestry cooperation at the joint liaison office in the North Korean city of Kaeseong on Monday, South Korean media Yonhap News reported.

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Restoring North Korea's forests has been one of the key areas that the two Koreas have agreed to cooperate among other measures to improve inter-Korean relations.

Deforestation in North Korea has worsened due to environmental and economic consequences over the last decade.

Officials of state forestry services first met on July 4 and agreed to conduct a joint inspection in forest areas and a pest control for tree diseases in border areas. South Korean officials visited Mount Geumgang for a field inspection on forests and situations for disease in August.

Some of the major concerns for North Korea include the pine wilt disease that could affect a large part of forests in the North. Pine trees are dominant tree species in Korean forests, which consist of 26 percent of the total tree-grown areas in the South, according to the National Institute of Forest Sciences.

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