Top S.Korean Officials to Visit Pyongyang Ahead of Summit

  • By Lee Yong-soo

    September 03, 2018 12:20

    South Korea plans to send five senior officials to North Korea on Wednesday. National security adviser Chung Eui-yong, National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon and Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung, who also prepared for the cross-border summit in April, will be part of the delegation laying the groundwork for a fresh summit later this month.

    Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said, "The delegation is the same as in March because the important thing is... continuity of negotiations with North Korea."

    They will head to Pyongyang on Wednesday and return the same day.

    The brevity of their trip suggests that most of the details have already been ironed out. But it is uncertain whether they will be able to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this time round, the spokesman added.

    South Korean officials arrive at an airport in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province to board on a plane to Pyongyang, in this file photo taken on March 5.

    He added the two Koreas are also expected to finalize the opening date of an inter-Korean liaison office in North Korea's Kaesong.

    Seoul had hoped to open the office last month but delayed the opening under pressure from the U.S. amid an impasse in denuclearization talks with North Korea. In a government meeting last week, Chung said the liaison office will now open in early September, but it is unclear whether Washington has given the green light.

    Meanwhile, a U.S. State Department official was quoted by Voice of America as saying Friday that progress in inter-Korean relations needs to stay in sync with progress in denuclearization.

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