Chief DPRK delegate says doors open for talks with U.S.: S.Korea

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-26 17:52:42|Editor: Yamei
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A high-ranking delegation led by Kim Yong Chol(C), vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, arrives at the inter-Korean transit office in Paju, South Korea, on Feb. 25, 2018. The high-ranking delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) arrived in South Korea Sunday to attend the closing ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics. (Xinhua/Newsis)

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Kim Yong Chol, chief delegate of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) who came here Sunday to attend the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics, said Monday that doors are open for a dialogue with the United States, according to Yonhap news agency and Newsis news agency.

Kim made the remark during a closed-door meeting with Chung Eui-yong, top national security advisor for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, saying Pyongyang repeatedly showed its willingness to hold talks with Washington.

Kim, a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea and leading the high-ranking DPRK delegation to the Olympic closing ceremony, had a lunch meeting with Chung for two hours from 12:30 p.m. local time, according to the Blue House of South Korea.

The lunch meeting was a follow-up step to the closed-door meeting Sunday in Pyeongchang, east of Seoul, between President Moon and the high-ranking DPRK delegation.

Moon told the DPRK delegation that talks between Pyongyang and Washington should be rapidly held to improve inter-Korean relations and fundamentally resolve the Korean Peninsula issues.

In response, the DPRK delegation said Pyongyang had enough willingness to hold talks with Washington.

During the Monday meeting, both sides agreed to cooperate, after the Olympic period, in making a balanced advance to build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, and enhancing inter-Korean ties in a sustainable manner, the Blue House said in a press release.

Attending the Monday luncheon, which was allegedly held at an unidentified hotel in the capital Seoul, was Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, from the DPRK side.

Attendees from the South Korean side were Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung and Nam Gwan-pyo, a deputy director of the presidential National Security Office, as well as Lee Do-hoon, a special representative for the Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the foreign ministry.

Lee represents South Korea at the long-stalled six-party talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, which involved South Korea, the DPRK, China, the United States, Russia and Japan. The six-way dialogue has been halted since late 2008.

The DPRK delegation was scheduled to stay in South Korea till Tuesday.