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Koreas to skip liaison office chiefs' meeting again

North Korea 10:01 July 12, 2019

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- South and North Korea will not hold a weekly meeting of the co-heads of their joint liaison office this week, the unification ministry said Friday.

Speculation arose that a meeting of the chief liaison officers could take place on Friday for the first time in nearly five months as the ministry said that it was waiting for the North's decision until late Thursday.

Pyongyang had usually notified the South earlier than that of its decision on whether to hold or skip a weekly meeting.

"The North informed us on Thursday afternoon that it will not send its head to the liaison office," a ministry official said.

When the two Koreas opened the liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong last year, they agreed to hold a weekly meeting of their chief liaison officers to discuss cross-border issues.

The co-heads' meetings, however, have not been held since the no-deal breakdown of the summit between the North and the United States in February.

Cross-border cooperation has been in limbo apparently due to sanctions Washington is trying to keep in place until the North's complete denuclearization.

South Korea is hoping that inter-Korean relations will get a boost from the surprise meeting between President Moon Jae-in, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump at the truce village of Panmunjom in late June.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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