Red Cross officials from two Koreas head to same meeting

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- Red Cross officials of South and North Korea are set to attend a regional conference in Hong Kong next week but they have no plan to meet separately there, a Seoul official said Friday.

Ko Kyung-suk, head of the South Korean Red Cross is scheduled to attend the July 29-30 conference for Red Cross leaders of East Asia in Hong Kong.

The North's Korean Central News Agency had reported earlier that Paek Yong-ho, deputy executive chairman of its Red Cross central committee, had left for Hong Kong for the conference. Paek has represented Pyongyang on a number of inter-Korean Red Cross talks in the past.

"They are likely to run into each other at the conference, but we have not prepared for any separate bilateral talks," a Seoul official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tension remains high on the Korean Peninsula as the two Koreas mark the 60th anniversary Saturday of the signing the armistice that ended the three-year Korean War in 1953.

The Red Cross societies of the two Koreas have been instrumental in handling a range of humanitarian matters, including emergency aid and reunions of separated family members on both sides.

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