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Vice unification minister to make 2-day trip to inter-Korean liaison office

Vice Unification Minister Suh Ho will make a two-day trip to an inter-Korean liaison office Tuesday on the occasion of the first anniversary of the opening of the office aimed at fostering cross-border exchanges, a ministry official said.

Suh will leave for the office in the North's border town of Kaesong later on Tuesday with a plan to stay there until Wednesday, according to the official. It is rare for a vice unification minister, who also serves as a co-head of the office, to spend a night there since its launch last year. 

Vice Unification Minister Suh Ho (Yonhap)
Vice Unification Minister Suh Ho (Yonhap)

"The vice minister is to visit the office as a head, which is aimed at encouraging our workers stationed there," the ministry official told reporters.

The liaison office was launched on Sept. 14 last year to support exchanges and cooperation between the two Koreas in a follow-up to an agreement their leaders reached in their April summit.

They agreed to hold a weekly meeting of co-heads of the office -- one from each side -- but such a meeting has not been held since February amid chilled cross-border relations.

The ministry earlier said that Suh has no plan to meet his North Korean counterpart, Jon Jong-su, during the trip as the North informed the South that Jon will not travel to the office.

Meanwhile, the ministry official told reporters that the North has replaced one of its two deputy heads of the office with a person named Ri Chung-ho, though he did not provide further information on Ri. (Yonhap)