Korean thaw raises hopes for scientific cooperation

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Science  04 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6388, pp. 475-476
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6388.475

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South Korea's scientists are welcoming the outcome of last week's historic summit with North Korea, which has raised hopes for a permanent peace treaty between the longtime foes. The joint statement signed by North Korea's Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in calls for "more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels." It does not mention science. But researchers are confident that the sentiments apply to research, too. One area of potential cooperation is public health, and another is studying the risks associated with Mount Paektu, an active volcano straddling the border between North Korea and China. Researchers also hope thawing ties could strengthen conservation efforts with the demilitarized zone between the two adversaries, which has become a 250-kilometer-long, 4-kilometer-wide biodiversity hot spot.

  • * With reporting by Ahn Mi-Young in Seoul.