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Park Jae-Kyu: Expedite unification thru mutual respect, understanding

Park Jae-Kyu: Expedite unification thru mutual respect, understanding

Posted August. 29, 2000 19:15,   


The first meeting for the 2nd round of South-North ministerial talks will be held at the People's Cultural Palace in Pyongyang at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The South Korean delegation, comprising 35 members, led by Minister of Unification Park Jae-Kyu, arrived in Pyongyang on the Monday, travelling on an Asiana chartered flight. Upon arrival, the delegation took a look around tomorrow`s meeting venue and then watched a dance performance at the Pyongyang Grand Theatre. Delegations from both sides attended a welcoming dinner organized by cabinet minister Hong Sung-Nam at the Mansoodae Arts Theatre. Minister Park remarked during dinner that peace and unification, which is desired by 70 million Koreans, will become reality if South and North Korea can resolve issues one step at a time based onmutual respect and understanding. Ahead of the dinner, minister Park and North Korean delegation head Jon Kum-Jin held an informal meeting on the 2nd floor of the Koryo Hotel, where the Southern delegation is staying. Both pledged to attain positive results from the talks.

An agreement was made concerning the agenda for the talks through a meeting with working-level members, but due to the dance performance and dinner organized by the North Korean delegation, talks were not held on the first day.

Meanwhile, there was some controversy between the two sides due to the hanging of huge portraits of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jung-Il on the 1st floor of the meeting venue.

Consequently, the government has sent an urgent directive to the South Korean delegation regarding the picture issue. It seems the matter was resolved after North Korea agreed not to hang the pictures in the meeting venue.