May 8, 2018 / 4:12 AM / 13 days ago

Hyundai Group launches task force on inter-Korean economic projects

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s Hyundai Group said on Tuesday it has created a task force to prepare for the possible resumption of economic projects in North Korea, after a summit between the nations fuelled hopes of exchanges between the two countries.

Last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un agreed to end hostilities between their countries and to “adopt practical steps towards the connection and modernisation of the railways and roads.”

Moon also said he expected the two Koreas to start joint research to pursue inter-Korean economic projects, declaring an official end this year to the 1950s Korean war.

Hyundai Group’s flagship unit, Hyundai Asan, used to operate two key inter-Korean economic projects - South Korean tours to North Korea’s Mount Kumgang and a joint industrial complex in the North’s Kaesong city - which were suspended by previous conservative administrations.

The group expects inter-Korean economic cooperation to gain momentum when “conditions are ripe” regarding bilateral relations and as the sentiment from the international community improves.

“We will be thoroughly prepared so that we can resume inter-Korean projects within the shortest time possible,” the group said in a statement.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Sam Holmes

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