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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

16:00 May 14, 2021

SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

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Unification minister planning to visit Washington next month: official

SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- Unification Minister Lee In-young is planning to visit the United States next month, an official said Tuesday.

Details of Lee's visit have yet to be finalized, and the exact schedule could change depending on the coronavirus situation and the South Korea-U.S. summit slated for next week, according to the official.

"Considering the Korea-U.S. summit and other diplomatic schedules as well as the coronavirus quarantine guidelines, we are making related preparations with a view to make a visit around the end of June," the official said.

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N. Korea leaves out photos of inter-Korean summit from album of leader's diplomatic activities

SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Wednesday published a photo album showing leader Kim Jong-un's diplomatic activities but has left out photos of his summit meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in amid chilled inter-Korean relations.

The album, published by the North's Foreign Languages Publishing House, features 10 photos of Kim's summit talks with other leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former U.S. President Donald Trump, from March 2018 to June 2019.

The North stressed the strong bilateral relations with China and Russia in the album, describing them as "deep-rooted" and "brotherly" friendship.

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N. Korea still in talks with COVAX to receive coronavirus vaccines: official

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is still in talks with the COVAX Facility project, a unification ministry official said Thursday, denying a media report that Pyongyang has rejected cooperation with the global vaccine distribution program.

CNN earlier reported that North Korea has rejected the COVAX Facility's offer for discussions to send COVID-19 vaccines to the impoverished country, citing a U.S. government official.

"As far as we know, relevant negotiations are currently under way between the North and the COVAX side," the ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity without providing more details.

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Unification minister urges N.K. to resume nuclear talks after upcoming Moon-Biden summit meeting

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- Unification Minister Lee In-young urged North Korea on Thursday to come back to the negotiating table for denuclearization talks, saying the upcoming summit meeting between Seoul and Washington will serve as a "big turning point."

Lee also said he "positively assesses" the outcome of Washington's policy review on North Korea during his opening speech at a seminar in Seoul.

"On the occasion of the upcoming summit, we hope North Korea comes back to the negotiating table to seek realistic and concrete solutions, and we will also put in all efforts to use this opportunity to push for an early resumption of talks between the U.S. and North Korea," he said.
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