ROK to hold high-level contact with DPRK (China Daily)
Top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of Sun on July 27, 2015. [Photo/KCNA]
SEOUL – Senior-level officials from Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed to meet in the truce village of Panmunjom amid heightened tensions after the exchange of fires in border areas, the South Korean presidential office said Saturday.
Kim Kwan-jin, top security advisor to ROK President Park Geun-hye, and Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo will have a contact with their DPRK counterparts at 6 p.m. local time (0900 GMT) in the Peace House, an administrative building on the South Korean side of Panmunjom, Kim Kyou-hyun, first Deputy Chief of the presidential national security office, told a press briefing.
Hwang Pyong So, top aide to DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and Director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), and Kim Yang Gon, Director of the DPRK’s United Front Department in charge of inter-Korean relations, will come to the meeting.
Kim and Hwang met in October last year when Hwang visited Incheon, South Korea’s western port city, to attend the closing ceremony of the 17th Incheon Asian Games hosted by South Korea.
The highest-level inter-Korean contact, since President Park took office in February 2013, came amid the escalated tensions caused by the exchange of fires across border on Thursday over propaganda broadcasts.
The DPRK has warned that unless South Korea stops propaganda broadcasts in frontline areas till 5 p.m. Saturday, it would launch military actions. South Korea warned of a stern retaliation against any further provocations.
ROK resumed airing the propaganda broadcasts with loudspeakers along the border from August 10 as two soldiers were maimed on August 4 by the blast of landmines, which Seoul claimed had been planted by the DPRK.
Pyongyang has denied any involvement in the incident.
ROK said it fired back dozens of artillery rounds after the DRPK shelling, but Pyongyang has denied firing a shell into the South Korean territory. The DPRK said it was an excuse for Seoul to conduct military provocations.