Seoul Says Cross-Border Office Violates No Sanctions

  • By Kim Jin-myung

    August 21, 2018 09:33

    Cheong Wa Dae on Monday dismissed complaints from some U.S. officials that opening an inter-Korean liaison office in the North Korean border city of Kaesong violates international sanctions against North Korea.

    "We're working on the issue of opening the liaison office in close consultation with the U.S.," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters. "I understand Washington has also expressed understanding."

    Earlier a U.S. State Department spokesman, making no direct reference to the liaison office, insisted improvements in ties between the two Koreas must occur "in lockstep" with denuclearization in North Korea. And an anonymous U.S. official told the Chosun Ilbo that providing electricity and equipment to the office could violate sanctions.

    But Kim dismissed the statements as the opinion of individual U.S. officials, not Washington's formal position.

    "In fact, we've already reached agreement with the North on the date of opening, and how to organize and operate the liaison office. Currently, each side is fine-tuning details on their own," he added. "An announcement will be made soon."

    The office was to have opened last week, but for unknown reasons that fell through.

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