SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- A ranking South Korean official on Tuesday expressed hope for substantial progress in denuclearization and other issues in talks between high-ranking U.S. and North Korean officials set to be held in New York later this week.
The official at the Ministry of Unification made the remark as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet with Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, in New York on Thursday.
"Our government will carefully prepare for what it can do under a virtuous cycle structure of inter-Korean relations, denuclearization and North Korea-U.S. relations," the official said in a meeting with reporters.
Referring to Hyundai Group's push to hold a ceremony in North Korea on Nov. 18-19 to mark the 20th anniversary of the launch of South Korean tours of the North's Mount Kumgang, the official said, "The North Korean side appears to comply with Hyundai Group's event. Hyundai's application for a North Korean visit, if made, will be handled through consultations with related ministries."
He then stressed that the 20th anniversary event pushed by the South Korean conglomerate will have nothing to do with expectations for the resumption of the Mount Kumgang tour project, saying that the conditions for the resumption are not ripe yet.
South Korea suspended tours to the scenic North Korean mountain resort in July 2008 after a South Korean tourist was shot to death by the North's soldiers.
Regarding some media reports that inter-Korean joint use of the estuaries of the Han and Imjin rivers after the two Koreas' joint survey of a waterway along their western border could be in violation of United Nations sanctions, the official said that any concrete business projects are not under consideration for the moment.
Source: Yonhap News Agency