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Government Considers Fewer Visitors to North Korea

Posted June. 04, 2005 06:26,   


The South Korean government notified the North on June 3 that regarding the upcoming “June 15 Reunification Festival” in Pyongyang on June 14 to 17, it firmly believes that the two nations’ agreements on the private sector must be fulfilled. The South added that if the festival is held in an agreed way, the scale of government delegate participation would not be a problem.

In its telephone message to North Korea, the Ministry of Reunification made it clear that unless agreed matters on private sectors are carried out well, the festival will not progress smoothly, and sending delegates to meet each other there will be meaningless.

Both Koreas initially agreed on a scale of 985 visitors, including 615 civilians, 70 government officials, and 300 Korean residents overseas. However, South Korea was recently told to reduced its number of visitors to 320, including 190 civilians, 30 government officials, and 100 Korean residents overseas.

The ministry expressed regret over the North’s decision to unilaterally change already agreed-upon matters. “Only 10 days left from the festival, the North’s intention to create a new obstacle in the name of a ‘situational matter’ is hard to understand,” the ministry added.

In the meantime, representative Baek Nak-cheong of South Korea’s preparation committee for the June 15 Reunification Festival and eight other delegates departed Incheon International Airport on the morning of June 3 for a visit to Pyongyang from June 4 to 7.