South Korea is making preparations for high-level talks with North Korea slated for later this week to discuss follow-up measures to the historic summit between their leaders last month, the unification ministry said Monday.
The move came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met on Saturday and agreed to hold high-level inter-Korean talks on Friday as part of efforts to carry out the so-called Panmunjom Declaration they adopted after the April 27 summit.
"We are making follow-up working-level preparations," unification ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a regular press briefing.
Taking issue with military drills underway, North Korea unilaterally canceled a meeting with the South slated for May 16 that was intended to discuss concrete steps to implement the agreements reached during the summit last month.
The cancellation came hours after the two sides exchanged lists of their delegations to the meeting scheduled to take place at the truce village of Panmunjom.
If the meeting resumes, officials of the two Koreas are expected to discuss detailed steps that they will have to take to implement the agreement reached between their leaders last month.
As agreed upon last month, a reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War and cooperation in diverse areas including railroad, forestry and possibly cooperation to prepare joint events to mark their first-ever summit held on June 15, 2000, could be part of their discussion.
Asked about details related to delegations to be sent to the meeting, Baik said that the ministry will make an announcement if relevant things are determined.
For the canceled meeting, the North said it would 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 also included Kim Yun-hyok, vice railroad minister, and Won Kil-u, vice sports minister, and was set to be accompanied by more than 20 staff and journalists, the ministry said.
South Korea also planned to send a five-member delegation to be led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and accompanied by four other officials, including Kim Jeong-ryeol, vice transportation minister; Roh Tae-kang, vice cultural minister; and Ryu Kwang-soo, vice minister of the Korea Forest Service. (Yonhap)