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(LEAD) N.K. proposes 1-day delay to working-level talks for inter-Korean summit

2018/04/03 21:43

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SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Tuesday suggested delaying by one day this week's planned working-level talks to discuss the details of an inter-Korean summit in late April, the South Korean government said.

North Korea proposed that the two Koreas hold talks to discuss protocol, security and news releases on Thursday instead of Wednesday on the southern side of the border village of Panmunjom, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

The North also offered to hold working-level talks on Saturday to discuss ways to set up an inter-Korean hotline at the offices of President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, it added.

The summit, the first between leaders of the South and North since 2007, will be held at the Peace House on the southern side of Panmunjom on April 27.

It will, if held, make Kim the first North Korean leader to cross the inter-Korean border at least since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

A ministry official said that the North did not give a reason for the delay, but that it will not affect the scheduled summit.

Earlier in the day, the South said that it will send a seven-member delegation to this week's working-level talks, which will be led by Cho Han-ki, a presidential secretary on protocol.

The team will also include Shin Yong-wook, a senior presidential security officer, and Kwun Hyuk-ki, director of the press center at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, as the talks will deal with security and media coverage as well.

The North said that it will send a six-member delegation to the talks and unveil its composition on Thursday.

A ministry official said earlier in the day that he has no information about whether Kim Jong-un's route will be discussed at this week's talks or if his wife, Ri Sol-ju, will accompany Kim.

The leaders of the two Koreas are widely expected to discuss the North's denuclearization, peace on the peninsula and inter-Korean ties at the summit. U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with Kim Jong-un by May.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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