South Korea’s Ruling Party Chief Confirms Upcoming Visit North Korea

Posted September 27th, 2011 at 7:22 am (UTC-5)
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The head of South Korea's ruling party says he will travel to North Korea later this week.

Grand National Party chief Hong Joon-pyo told reporters Tuesday that he will visit a joint industrial complex in Kaesong on Friday. The complex has several South Korean factories that employ cheap North Korean labor.

Hong announced earlier this month that he would be willing to visit the complex in a bid to improve relations between Seoul and Pyongyang.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles Seoul's relations with the North, says it has approved Hong's visit.

The two Koreas are slowly attempting to improve ties that turned icy after the North's shelling of a South Korea island last November, and the sinking of a South Korean warship that Seoul blamed on Pyongyang.

Nuclear negotiators for the two countries held talks last week in Beijing, marking their second meeting in two months. The South has also begun allowing a small number of cultural and religious visits to the North.