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First inter-Korean govt meeting begins

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-09 10:01

SEOUL - The first working-level talks in over two years between officials of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Republic of Korea began on Sunday at Panmunjom border village, according to Yonhap news agency.

The working contact at Freedom House on the ROK side of the truce village is aimed at preparing for the ministerial meeting to be held in Seoul on Wednesday.

First inter-Korean govt meeting begins

Head of ROK's working-level delegation Chun Hae-sung (C) speaks to the media beside delegates Kwon Young-yang (L) and Kang Jong-won as they leave for Panmunjom where the first working-level talks between DPRK and ROK will be held, June 9, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

DPRK on June 6 proposed holding inter-governmental talks with ROK on issues including the normalization of the operation in the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ) and the resumption of tour of Mt. Kumgang on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the June 15 joint declaration, said the statement issued by the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK).

ROK accepted the proposal on the same day, hoping the talks will become an opportunity to help forge trust.

Seoul suggested ministerial-level talks on June 12 in Seoul in order to resolve issues of restarting Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mt. Kumgang tour and reunion of separated families, Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae told a news conference.

Chun Hae-sung, who is leading the three-person delegation of ROK, told reporters before leaving for the talks that every effort will be made to build trust that can lay the foundation for improving South-North relations.

The head of the policy setting office at the unification ministry said that the Panmunjom talks aim to lay the successful groundwork for the ministerial-level talks. The official said administrative and technical matters will be discussed.

DPRK, meanwhile, was represented by Kim Song-hye, a senior official of the CPRK.

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