First inter-Korean govt talks in two years held
Updated: 2013-06-09 10:01
SEOUL - The first working-level talks in over two years between officials of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea began on Sunday at Panmunjom border village, according to Yonhap news agency.
Head of ROK delegation for an inter-Korean working-level talks, Chun Hae-sung (R) shakes hands with his DPRK counterpart Kim Song-hye before their talks in Panmunjom, June 9, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
ROK Unification Ministry held a press briefing shortly after the morning talks concluded. The spokesman of the ministry said that the talks continued about one hour and concluded at around 11 am local time. During the talks, representatives discussed details about the upcoming ministerial meeting to be held in Seoul on Wednesday.
The working contact at Freedom House on the South Korean side of the truce village is aimed at preparing for the ministerial meeting to be held in Seoul on Wednesday.
The exact schedule about the afternoon talks hasn't been set yet, according to the spokesman.
DPRK on June 6 proposed holding inter-governmental talks with South Korea on issues including the normalization of the operation in the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ) and the resumption of tour of Mt. Kumgang on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the June 15 joint declaration, said the statement issued by the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK).
South Korea accepted the proposal on the same day, hoping the talks will become an opportunity to help forge trust.
Seoul suggested ministerial-level talks on June 12 in Seoul in order to resolve issues of restarting Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mt. Kumgang tour and reunion of separated families, Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae told a news conference.
Chun Hae-sung, who is leading the three-person South Korean delegation, told reporters before leaving for the talks that every effort will be made to build trust that can lay the foundation for improving South-North relations.
The head of the policy setting office at the unification ministry said that the Panmunjom talks aim to lay the successful groundwork for the ministerial-level talks. The official said administrative and technical matters will be discussed.
The North, meanwhile, was represented by Kim Song-hye, a senior official of the CPRK.