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Koreas to skip liaison office chiefs' meeting again ahead of 1st anniv. of office's opening

All News 15:52 September 05, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- The prolonged absence of a weekly meeting between the co-chiefs of an inter-Korean liaison office will continue this week, the unification ministry said Thursday, as cross-border ties remain stalled just a week before the first anniversary of the liaison office's opening.

The two Koreas launched the liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong on Sept. 14 last year to discuss reconciliation projects, and agreed to hold a meeting of its co-heads -- one from each side -- every week.

But no such meeting has been held since the collapse of February's summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump because inter-Korean exchanges can hardly move forward without progress in denuclearization talks due to sanctions.

"(The vice minister) will not be heading to Kaesong as there will be no liaison chiefs' meeting," a ministry official said. Vice Unification Minister Suh Ho is the South Korean chief of the liaison office.

The first anniversary of the liaison office's opening coincides with next week's Chuseok holiday, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving, which runs from Sept. 12-15 this year.

Trump and Kim held a surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom in late June and agreed to resume the negotiations, but working-level talks have not taken place yet.

This photo filed March 24, 2019, shows the joint liaison office set up by South and North Korea in the North's border town of Kaesong, following the summit agreement between their leaders in April last year. (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap)


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