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(4th LD) 2 Koreas agree to hold high-level talks Wednesday

All Headlines 18:37 May 15, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS paras 3-4; ADDS details on S. Korean delegation in 5th para)

SEOUL, May 15 (Yonhap) -- South and North Korea will hold high-level talks this week to discuss follow-up measures on agreements their leaders reached in a historic summit held last month, Seoul's unification ministry said Tuesday.

The two Koreas agreed to hold the talks on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom on Wednesday, according to the ministry.

The North said it will send a five-member delegation led by Ri Son-kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, a North Korean agency in charge of inter-Korean exchange.

The delegation includes Kim Yun-hyok, vice railroad minister, and Won Kil-u, vice sports minister, and will be accompanied by more than 20 staff and journalists, the ministry said.

South Korea's five-member delegation will be led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon. He will be companied by four other officials, including Kim Jeong-ryeol, vice transportation minister, Roh Tae-kang, vice cultural minister, and Ryu Kwang-soo, vice minister of Korea Forest Service.

The meeting will mark the first time that officials of the two Koreas will sit down for talks following the April 27 summit held between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"Through the inter-Korean high-level talks, (we) will push to lay the groundwork for sustainable development and lasting peace by having in-depth discussions and faithfully implementing the Panmunjom Declaration," the ministry said in a press release.

Moon and Kim signed a joint declaration in which they agreed to halt all hostile acts against each other, open a joint liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong and vowed various economic cooperation efforts.

They also agreed to hold a reunion of families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War on the occasion of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day.

A unification ministry official told reporters that the issue of the separated families has always been the top priority in inter-Korean talks.

The two Koreas will also likely discuss details related to arranging a joint event to mark the June 15 declaration adopted after the first inter-Korean summit in 2000. The event was last held in 2008 at the North's Mount Kumgang.


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