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Seoul approves N.K. trip to mark completion of tech university

All Headlines 16:24 September 14, 2009

Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea permitted a delegation from a private foundation to visit North Korea this week to celebrate the completion of a science and technology university jointly built with the North, Seoul's Unification Ministry said Monday.

The ceremony for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology is scheduled for Wednesday, according to ministry spokesperson Chun Hae-sung. He said the 20-member delegation will make a three-day trip to the North beginning Tuesday.

The delegation includes Kwak Seon-hee, head of the Seoul-based Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture. The foundation was mostly responsible for organizing donations and fundings for the university, the first to be jointly-operated with an organization not based in the North.

The move marks the first time that the Seoul government has approved a non-humanitarian visit to the North since the communist state carried out its second nuclear test in May.

The date of the school's opening and other administrative affairs, however, have yet to be decided and must be worked out between the North Korean authorities and the foundation.

Kim Jin-kyung, head of the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China, will serve as president of the university until its official opening, according to ministry officials.

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