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Inter-Korean High-level Talks Take Place Monday

South Korea has accepted a proposal by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to hold high-level talks on improving ties from May 16 to May 17 at the DPRK's southern city of Kaesong, a senior official in Seoul said Sunday.

"The vice-minister-level talks are scheduled to begin at a hotel in Kaesong at 10:30 AM (01:30 GMT) Monday," Vice Unification Minister Lee Bong-jo said.

The planned meeting will mark the first inter-Korean governmental contact since the 14th inter-Korean Ministerial Talks ended in May last year and the inter-Korean military working-level contacts in late June last year.

Lee, who will lead a three-member South Korean delegation, said the talks will cover topics including normalizing inter-Korean relations and South Korea's fertilizer aid to the DPRK.

DPRK's chief delegate to the inter-Korean ministerial meeting, Senior Councilor of Cabinet Kwon Ho-Ung made the proposal on Saturday to his South Korean counterpart, Unification Minister Chung Dong-Young.

Kwon said in a telephone message the DPRK side is not satisfied with the current inter-Korean relations.

"To our regret, the relations have not yet departed from confrontation, contrary to the basic spirit of the joint declaration (of the summit talks)," the message said.

The DPRK's chief delegate to the Monday meeting will be Kim Man-gil, a deputy director at the secretariat of the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2005)

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