South Korea sends insecticide to North to save pine trees
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea sent about 50 tons of insecticide to North Korea on Thursday to help stop a pine tree disease from spreading.
The move was the latest in a series of goodwill gestures between the rival Koreas to improve relations amid larger negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang to resolve the nuclear standoff.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry said trucks carrying the chemicals crossed the border and unloaded them at the North Korean border town of Kaesong.
South Korean forestry officials are also visiting the North to discuss ways to jointly fight the disease that is common in pine forests in the Korean Peninsula. It is caused by parasitic roundworms dispersed by beetles and the infected trees will wilt and die.
On Friday, the Koreas plan to start an 18-day joint survey on North Korean railroad sections along the country’s eastern and western coasts they eventually want to connect with the South.
But beyond the surveys and a planned groundbreaking ceremony, the Koreas cannot move much further along without the lifting of U.S.-led sanctions against North Korea, which isn’t likely to come before it takes firmer steps toward relinquishing its nuclear weapons and missiles.