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N. Korea leader likely to visit Jeju

Posted September. 28, 2000 13:36,   


The visit to Seoul by Kim Yong-Nam, chairman of the Presidium of the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly, has been confirmed for the middle of December, and North Korean Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-Il is likely to visit Jeju Island as the venue for his scheduled summit with President Kim Dae-Jung.

A high-level official attending the ongoing third round of the inter-Korean ministerial talks said Thursday that Kim Yong-Nam's Seoul visit in December had been agreed upon between the two Koreas, when Kim Yong-Sun, Kim Jong-Il's special envoy, came to Seoul during the Chuseok holidays earlier this month. Heretofore, Kim Yong-Nam's Seoul visit was known to be made within this year.

The official said that at the ongoing Jeju talks, the two sides would discuss the procedures for Kim Yong-Nam visit and Kim Jong-Il's reciprocal visit to the South. As a venue for the defense commission chairman's visit, Jeju Island has become the most promising, as Kim Yong-Sun and North Korean People's Armed Forces Minister Kim Il-Chol made visits to that island, respectively.

Meanwhile, at the bilateral ministerial talks, the two sides will intensively discuss the establishment of subcommittees according to sectors for inter-Korean cooperation and food aid to the North. At the same time, they will deal with matters in detail concerning the future family reunion programs, including the itinerary of the exchange visits of separated families.

Earlier, North Korean chief delegate Jon Kum-Jin and his entourages flew into Seoul via a Chinese airliner Wednesday and arrived on the island via an Asiana plane. At Jeju Airport, he was received by Unification Minister Park Jae-Kyu and rode with him to the Jeju Lotte Hotel, where he is staying.

During an hour-long drive, the two are known to have exchanged views on the matters related to the following official talks.

In an arrival statement, North Korean chief delegate Jon said, noting that one implementation is more important than 100 words, that he would do his best for the faithful implementation of the June 15 Inter-Korean Summit Declaration.

Unification Minister Park said that the talks would be devoted to making an overall review of the matters discussed at the various levels of the previous inter-Korean talks, adding that the two sides would be able to make good progress especially in bilateral economic cooperation, recalling that North Korean leader Kim's statement that the mutual economic cooperation would be earnestly discussed at the third round of the ministerial talks.