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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, May 24, 2018

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North and South Korea representatives discuss co-hosting events

Working-level talks to figure out logistics and specific details

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SHENYANG, China -- South and North Korean civic organizers met Tuesday in China to discuss co-hosting two major anniversaries, but a South Korean spokesman said both sides remain "cautious" over the outcome.

Yonhap reported the non-governmental representatives extended talks for a day in what became a three-day meeting at a hotel in Shenyang, China.

There was discussion of holding a joint celebration of the June 15 declaration between North and South - a 2000 agreement by both sides to work toward unification and improve humanitarian assistance.

Representatives said jointly holding an event to observe the 70th anniversary of Korean independence from Japanese rule was also discussed.

South Korea has said it will support jointly held cultural, sporting events and celebrations to observe the anniversary, and allow South Korean journalists to travel to the North for coverage.

South Korean newspaper Kyunghyang Sinmun reported it is likely the June 15 anniversary will be jointly held in Seoul while, the 70th anniversary of Independence Day on Aug. 15 will take place in Pyongyang.

Seoul said both sides agreed they need working-level talks to figure out logistics and specific details.

If plans are unanimously approved, a joint observation of June 15 will be the first inter-Korea civic exchange since 2008, when South Korea suspended trips to Mount Kumgang.

Aid projects have also shown signs of life.

In April, South Korea approved the delivery of 15 tons of fertilizer aid for the first time in five years, since Seoul declared economic sanctions against North Korea in response to a torpedo attack on the South Korean warship Cheonan that killed 46 seamen.Elizabeth Shim

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