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North Korean Cancels U.N. Trip

September 5, 2000

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ North Korea’s No. 2 leader Tuesday called off a trip to a United Nations summit in New York where he was due to meet the South Korean president.

The North Korean delegation, on a stopover in Frankfurt, did not immediately explain why Kim Yong Nam, head of the communist country’s parliament, would not attend the Millennium Summit.

``Kim Yong Nan, currently in transit in Frankfurt, will not take part in the Millennium Summit,″ a brief announcement from the delegation said.

South Korean President Kim Dae-jung left Tuesday for the summit, where he was to discuss North Korea with world leaders and had also been expected to meet the North Korean deputy leader.

In a speech to the U.N. summit, which opens Wednesday, Kim Dae-jung will explain positive developments on the divided Korean Peninsula following a historic north-south Korea summit in June, presidential spokesman Park Joon-young said.

Kim Yong Nam was to have been the highest-ranking North Korean official to attend a U.N. meeting since both Koreas joined the world body in 1991.

At the inter-Korea summit in June, the first since the 1945 division of the peninsula, Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il agreed to promote reconciliation and reunification.

Following up on their leaders’ pledge, the two Koreas have reopened a government dialogue, agreed to reconnect a cross-border railway and held temporary reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

The Korean Peninsula was divided into communist North and democratic South at the end of World War II and their three-year war in the early 1950s ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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