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N. Korean chief delegate indirectly criticizes S. Korean media

N. Korean chief delegate indirectly criticizes S. Korean media

Posted August. 14, 2018 07:41,   

Updated August. 14, 2018 07:41


North Korea’s chief delegate and Committee for Peaceful Reunification Chairman Ri Son Kwon seemed to be determined to send a message to the South Korean media during the inter-Korean high-level talks held on Monday at Panmunjom, making many wonder about the reason behind his action.

During the opening statement, Ri suddenly requested that the meeting be an open meeting, saying that having a Q&A session and discussion in public will prevent reporters from making wrong assumptions. “I don’t think the South Korean media does that on purpose. I’ve given it a thought and concluded that they make wrong assumptions because they don’t know what is actually going on during the meeting,” said the North Korean senior official, pretending to request an open meeting, but actually complaining about the reports by the South Korean media. When South Korean Unification Minister and chief delegate Cho Myoung-gyon politely rejected the request by saying, “I’m a shy man,” Ri insisted by saying, “Can North Korean reporters stay?”

Ri met reporters again after the meeting. When asked about the exact date of the summit, which is to be held during September, Ri said, “I didn’t say anything about the exact date to make you curious. (But) The date has been set. Being curious will make reporting more exciting for you.”

Minister Cho said during the briefing that they would discuss the exact date (of the summit). “It seems Ri, who used to lose his rag during the past meetings, decided to express dissatisfaction with a smile,” said a source familiar with North Korea.

In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com