Seoul, Pyongyang finalise delegations for bilateral meet

Seoul, Pyongyang finalise delegations for bilateral meet
A South Korean government official checks the direct communications hotline to talk with the North Korean side at the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea. (REUTERS Photo)

 

Seoul, January 7 (IANS): North and South Korea have agreed on the composition of the delegations which will participate in the first high-level meeting on Tuesday between the two countries after over two years, the Unification Ministry said here on Sunday.

 

Pyongyang informed Seoul of its five-member delegation earlier in the day, which will be led by Ri Son-gwon, head of his country’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK), reports Efe news.

 

On Saturday, Seoul had proposed a delegation led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and four other members. On January 5, Pyongyang accepted Seoul’s proposal of holding the meeting in Panmunjom on to discuss sending North Korean athletes to the Winter Olympics, to be held in the South Korea’s Pyeongchang county in February, as well as discussing a general improvement in relations.

 

The decision came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed a desire for rapprochement with the South and to send a delegation to participate in the Pyeongchang games, making Seoul and Washington postpone their annual joint military drill. North Korea’s participation in Pyeongchang and a rapprochement between the two Koreas could contribute to easing regional tensions caused by Pyongyang’s consistent ballistic weapons tests and US President Donald Trump’s belligerent rhetoric throughout 2017.