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South Korea defends planned reception of North Korean general

Europe, Europa
23.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Seoul (dpa) - The government in Seoul has defended its planned reception at the Olympics of the North Korean general thought to be responsible for a deadly 2010 attack on a South Korean ship.

Kim Yong Chol, former head of North Korea‘s intelligence agency, the reconnaissance bureau, and a current vice chair of the ruling Workers‘ Party‘s central committee, is due to lead a delegation to the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday.

After protests were held on Friday against Kim, the spokesman of Seoul‘s Unification Ministry called for understanding for his visit, which he said the government hoped would encourage dialogue and improve relations between the two countries.

Kim is accused of having planned the 2010 torpedoing of a South Korean warship, which resulted in the deaths of 46 people.

In defending his visit, the spokesman told reporters it was difficult to ascertain exactly who was responsible for the attack.

"It‘s clear that North Korea was blamed for the sinking of the warship and that Kim led the reconnaissance bureau at that time," he said. However, Seoul was limited in pinpointing responsibility for the attack, he said.

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump and a White House advisor to him, is already expected in South Korea on Friday to attend the closing ceremony. She is expected to dine with President Moon Jae In on Friday evening.

No meetings between the US and North Korean delegations are planned.

 

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