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ROK Invites DPRK Government Delegation to Seoul

South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young extended Wednesday an invitation to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), asking the DPRK to send a government delegation to Seoul on Aug. 15 to attend activities celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Korean Peninsula' liberation, the South Korean official Yonhap News Agency reported.

Chung, who is attending joint ceremonies in Pyongyang for the 5th anniversary of the 2000 Inter-Korean Summit, participated in a joint function Wednesday afternoon with his counterpart Kim Ki-nam, vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

Chung and Kim expressed their satisfaction on the role of both governments in the first ever joint government commemorative ceremonies for the Pyongyang Summit, and clarified their willingness to implement the June 15 Joint Declaration and showed confidence over future relations, the news agency said.

In a speech at the function, Chung reviewed brisk exchanges and cooperation made in various fields between the South and the North over the past five years, saying that such cooperation constitutes a basis for reunification.

"The dispatch of delegations by the authorities of both sides evidently demonstrate again their will to implement the June 15 Joint Declaration", Chung said, calling upon the two sides to further deepen their trust.

Kim Ki-nam highly evaluated the Inter-Korean Summit and the Joint Declaration issued after the summit, saying it eliminated hostility and misunderstanding and furthered reconciliation and unity between the North and the South.

"The north and south authorities, which have a major role to play in the implementation of the joint declaration, should join hands with each other to steadily develop the inter-Korean relations and take the lead in the Koreans' dynamic march for reunification," he stressed.

Lim Dong-won, former South Korean Unification Minister and once a special envoy for then President Kim Dae-jung, appealed for more efforts to carry out another round of inter-Korean summit.

Representatives of the DPRK, South Korea and overseas Koreans joined various of ceremonies in Pyongyang as parts of the festival.

A 340-member South Korean delegation arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday for the ceremonies and was set to return to Seoul on Friday.

(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2005)

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