SEOUL/PYONGYANG, Oct. 8 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) — South Korea has proposed holding an inter-Korean parliamentary meeting in November in Pyongyang and another gathering next year in Seoul.
The proposal was made by South Korean politicians who visited Pyongyang last week to attend the first-ever joint event to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the 2007 inter-Korean summit.
Amid rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula, National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang earlier proposed to the North’s Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) that the two parliaments hold a meeting by the end of the year. The North expressed its support “in principle.”
A North Korean official told pool reporters that the South seems to want such a meeting next month in Pyongyang and another one in 2019 in Seoul.
“The North has a stance that it wants the meeting within this year,” said Lee Hae-chan, the chief of the ruling Democratic Party.
“A proposed meeting needs participation from ruling and opposition parties, but if the meeting is held in Pyongyang, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) has said that it will not joint it,” he added.
Meanwhile, Choe Thae-bok, the chairman of the SPA, did not attend last week’s meeting among the Koreas’ politicians due to health problems. Details about his health conditions are not known.
Choe is the SPA’s chairman, which stands at par with speaker Moon. Kim Yong-nam, the North’s ceremonial leader, is the president of the Presidium of the SPA.
The SPA is the North’s legislative body, but the Presidium of the SPA exerts more powerful authority as the highest organ of state power.
South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said that the North may have to think about who could come forward if Choe could not join a proposed parliamentary meeting.
Source: Yonhap News Agency