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How Far Will the Peace Talks Go?

15:51 January 08, 2018 replay time02:03

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[Anchor]

As projected, Unification Minister Cho Myeong-gyun and Chairman of the Chosun Peace and Unification Committee Lee Seon-kwon will participate as the chief delegates of South and North Korea respectively at the upcoming inter-Korean talks.

It seems that they will first focus on discussions related to participating in the PyeongChang Olympics, but it is projected that the topics of discussions may expand depending on the circumstances.

Lee Seung-guk has more.

[Reporter]

The two chiefs who will lead the North and South at the upcoming senior official meeting are both well experienced in meetings between the two countries.

Chairman Lee Seon-kwon of the Chosun Peace and Unification Committee was in charge of putting this meeting together, and it seems that the Chosun Peace and Unification Committee has risen to be the counterpart to South Korea's Ministry of Unification once again.

Observers project that the Chosun Peace and Unification Committee, which was elevated as a national institute in 2016, will play the role that the Ministry of Unification Front previously served as the counterpart to the Ministry of Unification.

After successfully forming the delegations and agreeing on scheduling, the main topic of the senior official meeting is projected to be discussions related to North Korea’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

This is because the Olympics are only a month away, and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the Workers Party of Korea stressed the sending of a delegation to the PyeongChang Olympics.

The discussions are expected to include matters regarding the North's entry path, joint entrance to the opening and closing ceremonies, the costs of stay and the dispatching of cheering squads and art companies.

Additional issues about improving relations between the North and South seem like they will be dealt with after the discussions regarding PyeongChang conclude.

<Jung Seong-jang / Director of Department of Unification Strategy Studies at Sejong Institute> “The negotiations regarding participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics are going smoothly, and it is projected that this will lead to more negotiations into other areas such as restoring the military hotline between the North and South.”

However, the likelihood of specific discussions at these meetings about allowing reunions between separated families, stopping joint US-Korea military training and reopening the Kaeseong Industrial Complex seem unlikely.

Lee Seung-guk reporting for Yonhap News TV.

Yonhap News TV: 02-398-4441 (Inquiry on article/Report) KakaoTalk/LINE jebo23

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