Seoul on Friday proposed working-level inter-Korean talks on July 17 to discuss the North’s plans to send a group of athletes and cheerleaders to the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon.
The offer was made through a border telephone line in response to Pyongyang’s proposal a day before to meet at the peace village of Panmunjeom on July 15.
|President Park Geun-hye speaks at a meeting to check preparation of the 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 at Incheon Asiad Main Stadium on Friday. (Yonhap)|
“We revised the date in light of the need for preparations for the meeting,” the Unification Ministry said in a statement, adding that its three-member delegation will be led by Kwon Kyung-sang, secretary general of the games’ organizing committee.
The North on Monday unveiled its plans to dispatch a cheering squad to the games, to be held from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4. It announced its participation in the competition in May.
Among possible items on the agenda are the North Korean team’s accommodation and transportation, for which Pyongyang is likely to request Seoul’s support.
But ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do expressed skepticism, saying inter-Korean relations are “a lot different” now from what they were in 2002 when the North sent a large group of athletes and cheerleaders for the Asian Games in Busan.
By Shin Hyon-hee (firstname.lastname@example.org