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Koreas to hold liaison office meeting to discuss cross-border issues

11:45 January 11, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- Senior officials of South and North Korea will meet at their join liaison office on Friday to discuss cross-border issues, possibly including a recently postponed delivery of antiviral drugs to North Korea.

Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung, South Korea's head of the liaison office, will hold a meeting in the North's border town of Kaesong with Hwang Chung-song, a deputy head of the office on the North's side, according to the unification ministry.

The meeting comes after South Korea put on hold its planned Friday delivery of around 200,000 doses of Tamiflu to North Korea due to a lack of preparations.

"As the South-North liaison office is in operation around the clock, various pending issues regarding inter-Korean relations are being discussed," Lee Eugene, the ministry's deputy spokesperson, said in response to a question about whether the Tamiflu delivery issue could be addressed in the meeting.

If delivered, it would be the first such delivery since 2009, when Seoul provided around 400,000 doses of Tamiflu and 100,000 doses of Relenza antiviral drugs to North Korea through a land route across their western border.

The liaison meeting might also touch on South Korean businesspeople's request for a trip to Kaesong to check facilities they left behind when an inter-Korean industrial park there was abruptly closed amid heightened cross-border tensions in 2016.

Seoul earlier said it needs to have discussions involving relevant agencies and consultations with the international community and North Korea before approving the request.

The Kaesong industrial park was hailed as a key symbol of economic cooperation between the Koreas, as it combined South Korean capital and technology with cheap labor from the North.

The conservative Park Geun-hye government ordered all South Korean businesspeople there out in February 2016 in response to the North's nuclear and missile tests.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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