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Delegates to next round of inter-Korean talks to be named this week

Delegates to next round of inter-Korean talks to be named this week

Posted December. 17, 2000 20:39,   


As a follow-up to the agreement at the fourth ministerial-level talks, under which South and North Korea are to hold their first economic cooperation committee talks on Dec. 26 in Pyongyang, the government will select the members of the South's delegation early this week.

A government official said Sunday that the National Security Council would be convened early this week to assemble a delegation to be led by a vice-minister level official. Later in the week, the panel will focus on measures to address the North's request for electricity, which many predict is sure to be brought up again.

Minister of Unification Park Jae-Kyu dispelled the possibility of early electrical support for the North, stating that the supply of the electricity could be discussed in detail after thorough discussion and study of North's needs and the South's capability of supplying its needs.

The most likely choice for the post of the South's head delegate to the talks is Lee Jung-Jae, Vice Minister of Finance and Economy, who attended the fourth inter-Korean ministerial-level talks.

On Saturday, the last day of the fourth round of talks, the two sides announced the eight-point joint declaration, which includes the agreement for the committee talks on electricity aid, the readjustment of cross-border exchanges of information concerning surviving members of separated families, the inter-Korean fishing agreement, and the fifth ministerial-level talks to be held next March.

The delegates also formally signed the four agreements on inter-Korean economic cooperation which were informally adopted during the second round of working-level talks last month. The two sides agreed to keep one another up to date on the process of its acceptance by the lawmakers of both nations.

The South Korean delegation returned to South Korea a day late after the talks hit a snag with the North's request for electricity aid.

Ha Tae-Won scooop@donga.com