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North, South diplomats meet for 1st time

Posted July. 27, 2000 12:09,   


During the unprecedented meeting July 26 of the South`s and North`s ministers in Bangkok, the formation of a diplomatic channel through the establishments of embassies in the two states was discussed.

On the same day, yet another unprecedented event was witnessed by the world; a surprise visit by the South Korean ambassador to the North Korean Embassy in Beijing. The Resident South Korean ambassador to China Kwan Byung-Hyun, who is scheduled to return to South Korea next month, met with the North`s ambassador to China Joo Chang-Joon and spoke at length, about one hour.

Such a meeting made public between the North`s and South`s ambassadors in a third country where they are residents is unprecedented. It is a historical first for a South Korean ambassador to enter the North`s embassy gates in a vehicle displaying the South Korean flag.

During their talk, the North`s ambassador confirmed that the North`s leader Kim Jong-Il would indeed visit South Korea as promised. However, the actual date for the visit was not revealed.