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(LEAD) Ministry briefs Chinese envoy on inter-Korean ties

2018/02/14 15:31

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(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with plan to meet U.S. envoy, other details; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- A senior South Korean official in charge of North Korea affairs met Wednesday with the top Chinese envoy here to update him on inter-Korean relations amid an Olympics-led thaw.

Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung briefed China's Ambassador to South Korea Qiu Guohong on the issue, days after a visit here by a high-level North Korean delegation, according to his ministry.

It's part of the ministry's efforts to keep foreign countries informed of regional security conditions and the government's approach toward the North.

China's Ambassador to South Korea Qiu Guohong arrives at the Unification Ministry building for a meeting with Vice Minister Chun Hae-sung on Feb. 14, 2018. (Yonhap) China's Ambassador to South Korea Qiu Guohong arrives at the Unification Ministry building for a meeting with Vice Minister Chun Hae-sung on Feb. 14, 2018. (Yonhap)

The Chun-Qiu meeting was scheduled before last week's trip by North Korean delegates including Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of the communist nation's leader Kim Jong-un, an informed source said.

In meeting with President Moon Jae-in at Cheong Wa Dae, she introduced herself as her brother's special envoy. She conveyed his personal letter and invited Moon to visit Pyongyang.

Chun also plans to meet Marc Knapper, charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, later in the day at the request of the U.S. side following the North Korean delegation's visit, the source added.

Chun had a meeting with Japan's Ambassador to Seoul Yasumasa Nagamine on Tuesday.

He told the envoy that South Korea will continue efforts to improve inter-Korean ties and resolve the nuclear issue peacefully in a calm and cool-headed manner.

This file photo shows Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung. (Yonhap) This file photo shows Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung. (Yonhap)

He also reaffirmed South Korea's commitment to work together with the international community to address the North Korea issue.

The North sent its delegation to the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, in which its athletes are participating. It also dispatched an art troupe, a taekwondo performance team and a cheering squad.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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