TEMPO.CO, Seoul – High level dialogue between South Korea and North Korea scheduled for two days was cancelled yesterday. The South Korean government said it was forced to cancel the meeting because North Korea has objected to the South Korea's delegates.
Seoul's delegation was initially to be led by the South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae while the South was expecting North Korean leader Kim Yang-gon, the head of the United Front Department. However, Seoul then appointed Seoul's Deputy Unification Minister, Kim Nam-shik, to replace Kihl-jae as the head of the delegation. This replacement sent Pyongyang into a fit of rage.
South Korea said the replacement was in retaliation of Pyongyang's act of replacing its chief negotiator first. Based on the list of delegations submitted by Pyongyang, the nation will be represented by Kang Ji-yong, Director of the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK), replacing Kim Yang-gon.
North Korean scholar from Seoul's Dongguk University, Koh Yu-hwan, believed that this misunderstanding is a result of different political systems between the two Korean nations.
"The two sides are offended by each other now. The relations may again undergo a cooling off period before negotiations for further talks resume," he said.
YONHAP | REUTERS | AP | SITA PLANASARI AQUADINI