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`Seoul Made P`yang Send Delegation to Kim DJ`s Funeral`

Posted August. 03, 2010 10:06,   


Before holding a secret meeting in October last year in Singapore on a third inter-Korean summit, South Korea is known to have made North Korea send a delegation to the funeral of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung in August last year.

At another closed meeting in November at the inter-Korean industrial complex in Kaesong, the North asked for a side agreement on rice and fertilizer aid with the South before a bilateral summit. Seoul, however, said the inter-Korean summit and rice support are two different things.

With the two sides failing to narrow differences, the talks are known to have been broken off.

A source on North Korea said Monday that South Korean presidential chief of staff Yim Tae-hee, a former member of the ruling Grand National Party, played a significant role in getting the North to send Kim Ki Nam, secretary of the North Korean Workers` Party, and Kim Yang Gun, a Workers` Party director, to Kim Dae-jung’s funeral in August last year.

Two months later, Yim attended the Singapore meeting as labor minister to discuss an inter-Korean summit.

The source also said the North’s conciliatory gestures toward the South were the result of the mediation efforts of Yim and his delegation. The North released the South Korean fishing boat 800 Yeonan and its crew on Aug. 29 last year; withdrew its request to raise rent at the Kaesong complex Sept. 10; and agreed to hold inter-Korean family reunions over Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) holidays Sept. 26 to Oct. 1.

North Korea also apologized for the deaths of six South Koreans caused by Pyongyang’s abrupt discharge of water from the Hwanggang Dam Oct. 14.

Yim is known to have signed a memorandum of understanding with the North in October last year at the Singapore talks on holding an inter-Korean summit within that year, provide economic support to the North, and release one prisoner of war or South Korean abductee when President Lee returned home after the summit.

The source said, however, that Pyongyang requested a side agreement with Seoul if economic support could not be provided before the summit and to insert a clause in the agreement on implementing the declarations reached in the previous two inter-Korean summits.

No agreement on the inter-Korean summit could be reached, however, as Seoul rejected Pyongyang`s demands.