June 10, 2017 7:33 am JST

North-South Korea joint event to be called off

Effort to reach out to Pyongyang on summit anniversary flops

HIROSHI MINEGISHI, Nikkei staff writer

SEOUL -- A jointly organized event in Pyongyang to commemorate the 17th anniversary of a summit between North and South Korean leaders looks likely to fall through, a South Korean civic group said Friday.

The group had not received an invitation from the North Korean side, a representative at a news conference here. The June 15 observance will instead likely take place at separate venues in the North and South. It would have been the first time in nine years for Pyongyang to host the event.

North Korea has also barred the entry of South Korean humanitarian aid groups, expressing its disapproval of how the Seoul government has dealt with the North's repeated ballistic missile launches.

The news comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in approaches his first month in office on Saturday. While his administration has supported domestic civic groups' attempts to promote dialogue with the North, this one appears to have been flatly rebuffed.

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