South Korea's unification ministry said Wednesday it expects "good news" from a presidential delegation's trip to North Korea with regard to the delayed launch of a joint liaison office.
The delegation led by Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office, arrived in Pyongyang for a one-day trip to arrange a proposed summit between the leaders of the two Koreas this month. It is also expected to seek a conclusion on when the joint liaison office will be launched.
"With regard to the joint liaison office, there will be good news (from the delegation's visit to Pyongyang)," Baik Tae-hyun, unification ministry spokesman, told reporters during a regular press briefing.
"Once the date for the launch is finalized, we plan to make relevant preparations for an opening ceremony and others through working-level talks with the North without a hitch," he added.
Opening a liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong is part of agreements reached by the leaders of the two Koreas in their April summit, and it had been widely expected to be launched within August.
But its opening was delayed, spawning speculation that the Seoul government might drag its feet in the face of Washington's discomfort with a stalemate in its denuclearization talks with the North.
On Tuesday, a North Korean propaganda outlet claimed that South Korea has broken its promise to launch the liaison office as soon as possible due to the influence from the US.
South Korea has said that it is a matter of inter-Korean relations.
Baik emphasized that the two Koreas have effectively reached an agreement on how to compose and operate the liaison office and that the only remaining process is for both sides to sign it before it becomes effective. (Yonhap)