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NK, Unilaterally Aborts Seoul Economic Cooperation Meeting

NK, Unilaterally Aborts Seoul Economic Cooperation Meeting

Posted May. 07, 2002 09:04,   


The second Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee (IECPC), which has been scheduled to take place in Seoul between May 7 and 10, has been delayed indefinitely as North Korea side declared an unilateral absence.

Since the second IECPC has been scheduled as the first meeting between government authorities since the visit to North Korea by the presidential special advisor for diplomacy, security, and unification Lim Dong-Won, the indefinite delay of the meeting will likely affect the future North-South relationship adversely.

Especially, the government`s plan to demand through IECPC to conduct a North-South joint investigation on the danger of collapse of the Keumgangsan dam and to discharge 0.6 billion tons of water annually to meet water deficiency in the downstream region of the dam is also derailed.

The North Korean official media, the Chosun Central Broadcasting Station, reported that the North Korea delegation of IEPEC declared on May 6 through an announcement, `South Korean minister of the Ministry of Diplomacy and Trade (MOFAT) visited the U.S. to spoke aloud incomprehensible remarks, and he committed an act of blocking the resumption of North-South dialogue,` and added, `We express a deep regret for not holding the second meeting of IEPEC on scheduled date because of an unjustifiable comment of South side official with the silent consent of South side authority.` The North Korea delegation emphasized, `We will watch continuously the responsible measures of South side authority.`

The Washington Post of the U.S. quoted the minister of MOFAT Choi Sung-Hong, who visited the U.S. on 23rd last month, as saying, `Hard line policy of the George W. Bush administration against North Korea is working.`

The Ministry of Unification (MOU), through a comment of its spokesperson, expressed regret over the rejection of North Korea of the second IEPEC by taking issues with the comment of minister Choi during his U.S. visit, and urged a prompt implementation of terms agreed on during the North Korea visit of presidential special advisor Lim Dong-Won. Minister Choi remarked, `I have already explained enough that the report of the Washington Post misread my intention of speech,` and added, `I wish from the bottom of my heart that North Korea comes out to North-South negotiation table.`

Young-Sik Kim Dong-Ki Sung spear@donga.com · esprit@donga.com