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Seoul proposes high-level talks with Pyongyang next Wednesday

Seoul proposes high-level talks with Pyongyang next Wednesday

Updated August. 12, 2014 03:47

한국어

The government has suddenly proposed to North Korea on August 11 to hold the second round of high-level inter-Korean talks on August 19 to discuss the issue of on the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War on the advent of the important Korean holiday, Chuseok. The government presented the Unification Pavilion on the North’s side of the Panmunjom truce village as the site of the talks.

The government delivered this proposal through a notification in the name of Kim Kyou-hyun, deputy chief of the presidential office of national security, on August 11, 9:20am It also requested of the North to present a different date if it wished to adjust the date of the talks.

A high-level Unification Ministry official said the government proposed to discuss relevant items of interest for both sides including the issue of family reunions on the advent of Chuseok. According to the official, the discussion could also deal with economic sanctions (which the North had requested) known as the May 24th Measures and the suspended joint tour program to Mount Kumgang.

Seoul is wary of these proposed talks being taken to mean more than they really do, as they are not targeting lifting of the May 24 Measures which put a stop to inter-Korean exchanges following the North’s sinking of the South Korean Cheonan naval corvette nor the resumption of Mount Kumgang tourism. Yet given the talks’ agendas have all been left open allows the detection of a shift to a forward-looking atmosphere.

The high-level official said after hearing the opinion of the North’s delegations on the May 24 Measures and the Mount Kumgang tourism issue, the South will deliver its opinions. The South’s government is also of the position that wide-ranging discussions on other inter-Korean issues such as allowing the North’s team of athletes and cheering squad to participate in the Incheon Asian games.