North and South Korea delegates met at Mount Kumgang, where the North Koreans hailed the inter-Korea agreements signed in April and September. File Photo by Yonhap
Nov. 19 (UPI) -- North and South Korean delegates with mutual business interests celebrated progress in inter-Korea ties at North Korea's Mount Kumgang on Monday, despite reports last week Kim Jong Un inspected a "tactical" weapon test.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim's summits were "applauded" at the event, where top executives from South Korean firm Hyundai Asan were in attendance, Yonhap reported.
The delegates were in North Korea to commemorate the 20th anniversary of South Korean travel to Mount Kumgang, an exchange that ended abruptly following the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist in 2008.
According to Yonhap, North Korean officials said both sides should implement the inter-Korean Panmunjom Declaration and the Pyongyang Declaration. The North Koreans also called for the "self-reliance" of a unitary Korean people in the North and South.
Ri Taek Gon, vice chief of Pyongyang's Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, said the Pyongyang Declaration, signed in September, "opened a new era of peace and unification" that was the culmination of "serious efforts and the bold determination" of North and South Korean leaders.
"We must combine our will and heart to the thorough implementation of the North-South declaration," Ri reportedly.
Hwang Ho Yong, a high-ranking official of the North's Mount Kumgang Special International Tourism Zone, said the two Koreas "moved the world" with engagement, as a "dream-like reality" comes ever closer to the two Koreas.
It is also likely the two sides discussed economic sanctions.
North Korea has repeatedly called for sanctions relief, and until recently South Korean President Moon Jae-in had called for the easing of some of the sanctions.
South Korean news service Money Today reported Monday Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun said it would be difficult for tourism to the North to resume because of U.S. sanctions.
"We are prepared to restart North-South joint businesses, if regulations are eased by the United States," Hyun said.
Hyun's husband Chung Mong-hun committed suicide in 2003 following revelations of his alleged role in providing the North with cash payments following the first North-South summit in 2000.