South Korea To Allow Civic Groups to Meet North Korean Reps on Joint Events
D-Bo, May 4, 2015, 9:10 a.m.
The South Korean government Monday approved a plan by civic groups to meet North Koreans this week to discuss joint events. The five-member delegation from a related coalition plans to hold two-day talks from Tuesday with North Korean representatives in the Chinese city of Shenyang.
The meeting is to prepare for inter-Korean ceremonies to mark the 15th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration and the 70th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's colonial rule. "The government has permitted the planned meeting only," an official at the Ministry of Unification said. "It will be decided later whether to approve joint events, depending on the results of the consultations."
The Park Geun-hye administration has stated that it will encourage sports and cultural exchanges between the two Koreas in the highly meaningful year for Koreans. In August, the two Koreas will celebrate the 70th year since the liberation from Japan's 35-year occupation of the peninsula.
The Park government has prohibited inter-Korean events on the June 15 Joint Declaration, which marks a 2000 summit deal between late South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. It cited a package of sanctions on the communist neighbor for its 2010 torpedo attack on a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors.