Seoul: South Korea plans to offer working-level talks with North Korea, in an apparent move to help Pyongyang contain the spread of Covid-19, a senior official said here on Sunday May 15.
Last week, North Korea declared the implementation of the “maximum emergency” virus control system as it acknowledged an outbreak of Covid-19 for the first time since the pandemic began two years ago. North Korea had claimed that it was coronavirus-free.
“The government is actively reviewing to officially propose to North Korea holding a working-level meeting at the beginning of the week,” a senior South Korean official told Yonhap News Agency.
The official said South Korea plans to deliver its proposal to North Korea after holding consultations with relevant ministries.
The move could pick up speed after new Unification Minister Kwon Young-se takes office this week.
The offer, if accepted by North Korea, would mark the first talksafter South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol took office last week.
On May 13, Yoon offered to send Covid-19 vaccines and other medical supplies to North Korea.
North Korea on Sunday reported 15 additional Covid-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 42 since late April.
The virus has infected 820,620 North Koreans. Among them, 496,030 have been cured and 324,550 are being treated.