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N. Korea refuses S. Korea’s suggestion for in-person meeting in one day

N. Korea refuses S. Korea’s suggestion for in-person meeting in one day

Posted October. 30, 2019 07:53,   

Updated October. 30, 2019 07:53


North Korea refused the South Korean government’s proposal to hold working-level talks to discuss the new development directions of Mount Kumgang’s tourism.

North Korea sent a notice signed by the Mount Kumgang International Tourist Bureau to the South Korean Ministry of Unification and Hyundai Asan via the inter-Korea liaison office in Kaesong on Tuesday morning, which proposed the “discussions over the removal of South Korean tourism facilities in Kumgang Mountains and its schedule to be conducted in written correspondence.” The Ministry of Unification explained that the notice did not mention the “new development directions of Kumgang Mountains’ tourism,” which was suggested to be discussed in working-level meetings by the South Korean government and Hyundai Asan on Monday.

“The fact that Kim Jong Un mentioned the removal of South Korean tourism facilities seems to reflect North Korea’s intention to restrict the scope of discussions to the facilities’ removal,” said an official of the Unification Ministry regarding the reason of North Korea’s refusal of working-level talks. When asked about the possibility of North Korea pulling down the facilities unilaterally without pre-agreement with South Korea, the official answered that it’s hard to predict.

The ministry insists that the representatives of the two Koreas should meet as the issues over Mount Kumgang need to be resolved following the mutual agreement principle between the South and the North. The South Korean government is considering various measures, including resending a notice asking for a in-person meeting.

Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com