SEOUL-PYONGYANG TALKS BEING DELAYED ON COMMUNICATION LINE TROUBLES

12 Jul 2013 11:19

SEOUL, July 6 (Bernama) -- Working-level talks between Seoul and Pyongyang has been delayed due to troubles in communication line, China's Xinhua news agency quoted South Korea's Unification Ministry as saying Saturday.

South Korea and North Korea were scheduled to hold the talks from 10 am local time, but it has been postponed due to some troubles related to communication lines, the Ministry of Unification said by phone.

Three-member delegations from both sides arrived at the dialogue venue of Tongilgak, an administrative building on the North Korea's side of the truce village of Panmunjeom.

They will discuss how to normalise operations of the inter-Korean industrial park at the North Korea's border town of Kaesong that has been suspended for around three months.

Seoul sent Suh Ho, head of the Unification Ministry's exchange and cooperation bureau, as chief delegate, while Pyongyang reportedly sent Park Chol-su, vice director of the General Bureau of the Special Zone Development Guidance, as chief negotiator.

Suh told reporters before heading to the venue that the delegation will focus on three agendas, including how to maintain facilities and equipment at the Kaesong complex, how to bring back finished goods and materials and how to constructively normalise the inter-Korean factory park.

"(The delegation) will do our best to channel small trust and cooperation (that will be built at the talks) to bigger trust and cooperation," said Suh.

Both sides were scheduled to have the afternoon meeting from 2 pm after holding the plenary session in the morning.

The Kaesong industrial park, where factories of 123 South Korean companies were stationed, has been suspended for nearly three months after Pyongyang banned about 53,000 of its workers from reporting to work. Seoul also withdrew its personnel after the North Korea rejected working-level talks.

The two sides sought to hold their first high-level official talks in six years in June, but the scheduled dialogue was cancelled due to dispute over the ranks of chief delegates.

-- BERNAMA

RT