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South-North Joint Celebration of New Year Canceled

Posted February. 28, 2002 10:33,   


North Korea canceled the `Joint Celebration of New Year 2002,` raising an issue of the failure in attendance of the Unification Solidarity personnel by the South government`s rejection to permit them to visit the North. By the cancellation of the first joint event, the stagnated relationship between the South and the North is likely to be continuing for a while.

The North delegation that noticed the cancellation abruptly around 12:30 yesterday argued that “by the machination of the U.S. and its extreme right conservative puppets in the South, the representatives of the Unification Solidarity were not allowed to participate in the event. As a result of such an abnormal incident, the joint event was canceled.”

The statement also insisted that “the extreme right conservative groups including the Grand National Party is responsible for the cancellation and the South government that fears their pressure also has a problem.”

However, the statement added that “even though the joint celebration was canceled, the efforts of the 7 religious groups and Korean Council For Reconciliation and Cooperation must be appreciated. We will continue to fight for the accomplishment of the 6.15 Joint Declaration.”

With regard to the cancellation of the joint event, a government official commented, “it is regretful that the North canceled the joint event even though 216 representatives of the South went to Mt. Keumgang.”

Previously, the 7 religious groups were opposed to the joint statement under the name of the participants concerning the government`s rejection of the visit to the North so that the joint events were not carried out as scheduled.

By the cancellation of the joint event, the South delegation had independent cultural events after seeing the North`s acrobatic performance. They will return to the South by the Seolbong, a Mt. Keumgang tour cruise, after touring Samil-po in the morning on 28th.

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com