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Inter-Korean Festival Raises Its Curtain

Posted August. 14, 2002 22:15,   


The 14-day long Liberation Day Festival has kicked off yesterday in Walker Hill Hotel in Seoul. About 520 delegates from South and North Korea are participating in the inter-Korean festival.

The 116-men North Korean delegation headed by Kim Yeong-dae, chairman of the National Reconciliation Council, arrived in Seoul early yesterday and joined the South Korean delegation. This is the first time North Korean delegates participate in a private event in South Korea in such huge numbers since Korea divided into two different states.

The North Korean delegation said in its statement released upon its arrival, "We believe that this inter-Korean festival will provide an opportunity for two Koreas to get united, thoroughly implement agreements reached in the June 15 joint declaration and move toward reunification."

The spokesman of the North Korean Committee for National Peace and Reunification release a statement on the same day. In the statement, he said, "The North Korean delegation`s participation in the event is part of its effort to provide a new breakthrough for the reunification of the two Koreas under the banner of the June 15 joint declaration. We should not allow external forces and anti-reunification forces to thwart the Liberation Day Festival."

Delegations from two Korean will jointly hold a variety of cultural and artistic events through the 17th, and hold a symposium on the 16th under the theme of `Challenges to protect the nation`s territorial integrity for Tokdo and to overcome the legacy from the Japanese colonial rule`.

The North Korean delegation will tour the Changdeok Palace and try a pleasure boat sailing in the Han River.

Meanwhile the authorities taking charge of promoting joint events between two Korea announced that it denied the request by 25 South Korean delegates in Pyeongyang to contact North Korea people.

Ho-Gab Lee gdt@donga.com esprit@donga.com