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Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks Kick off Main Session

The 15th Inter-Korean Ministerial Meeting kicked off its first main session earlier Wednesday at the Sheraton Walker Hotel in eastern Seoul.

In the main session, top delegates of South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) made keynote speeches to spell out their basic positions. But details were not available now.

South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young and Kwon Ho Ung, a senior DPRK cabinet councilor respectively are leading their own delegations to the talks.

After the main session, the meeting entered into working level closed-door discussions.

Moreover, according to local news TV channel YTN, South Korean delegation proposed to resume the stalled inter-Korean general-level military talks earlier Wednesday.

The DPRK delegation was scheduled to leave Seoul for home on Friday morning after holding another main session to announce a joint statement.

The five-member DPRK team arrived in South Korea on Tuesday afternoon by a DPRK flight.

South Korea and DPRK agreed to reopen the inter-Korean ministerial talks, the highest channel of dialogue between the two countries, in May after 11-month suspension.

The talks come shortly after the meeting between Chung Dong-young and the DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Il, during which Kim agreed to resume reunions of separated family members in August, to rejoin inter-Korean railways and roads being built as soon as possible, and to resume the inter-Korean general-level military talks.

This week's inter-Korean meeting is to discuss details of above issues.

(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2005)

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