South Korean president meets North Korean delegation for the first time

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Seoul, Aug.23 (ANI): South Korean President Lee Myung-bak met a six-member North Korean delegation here on Sunday. A meeting of this nature is taking place for the first time since the former assumed office in February 2008.

A presidential Blue House spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lee held talks with the North Korean delegation at his office. No further details were provided.

The meeting came a day after South Korea's Unification Minister Hyun In-Taek met North Korea's Department Director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party Kim Yang Gon at a hotel here.

The North Korean delegation had come to mourn the death of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who died last week.

Relations between the countries have been largely frozen since conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office in February last year with a tougher line on North Korea amid the international standoff over its nuclear ambitions.

Lee has not held talks with North Korean officials since he became president.

Yonhap news agency reported Saturday, without citing a source, that the DPRK delegation were expected to deliver a message from leader Kim Jong Il and outline Pyongyang's plan to release four ROK fishermen seized in July.

They would also convey the DPRK's position on resuming official dialogue.

Former President Kim Dae-jung was widely admired by Pyongyang for his efforts to reconcile the two nations when he served as president from 1998 to 2003. (ANI)

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