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Moon meets former unification ministers to discuss N. Korea

(Cheong Wa Dae-Yonhap)
(Cheong Wa Dae-Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in held a luncheon meeting Wednesday with a group of former unification ministers to discuss deepening troubles in inter-Korean ties, his office said.

During the two-hour meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, Moon listened to their opinions on South-North relations, according to Cheong Wa Dae deputy spokesman Yoon Jae-kwan.

Luncheon attendees included Lim Dong-won, Park Jae-kyu, Jeong Se-hyun and Lee Jong-seok, who at different times led the ministry handling Seoul-Pyongyang relations. Also present were Moon Chung-in, a special security adviser to the president, former lawmaker Park Jie-won and Koh Yu-hwan, head of the Korea Institute for National Unification.

Yoon did not provide details of their discussions, and the schedule of the luncheon was not announced in advance.

The session came as the North is escalating tensions on the peninsula with a string of threats and provocative steps, including the demolition of a joint liaison office in its border city of Kaesong.

Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, Seoul's point man on Pyongyang, announced a decision to step down to take responsibility for the failure to improve relations between the two sides. He also cited the need to create the mood for a turnaround in Seoul-Pyongyang ties.

Speaking to reporters, a Cheong Wa Dae official would not confirm whether or when Moon will accept his resignation offer.

"We will let you know as soon as a decision is made," the official said. (Yonhap)