First Published: 2010-10-04


South Korea in talks to upgrade Libya's diplomatic mission


Seoul moves to improve ties with Tripoli after row over spying, Christian missionary.


Middle East Online

Considering 'various measures' to win back Libya's love

SEOUL - South Korea is holding talks with Libya about upgrading its diplomatic office in Seoul to a formal embassy after resolving a diplomatic row, the South's acting foreign minister said Monday.

Vice Foreign Minister Shin Kak-Soo told parliament that "various measures" are under consideration to strengthen relations.

"We are in talks with Libya to upgrade its economic cooperation office to an embassy," he said.

Shin has served as acting minister since Yu Myung-Hwan quit as foreign minister last month after being accused of nepotism over the ministry's hiring of his daughter.

Ties between the two nations soured after Libya expelled a South Korean intelligence agent in June for allegedly trying to collect information on leader Moamer Kadhafi, his family and leading bureaucrats.

Libya suspended operations at its de facto embassy in Seoul, forcing local businessmen to go overseas to get visas for the country.

But the two countries agreed to end the feud during a visit last week by Lee Sang-Deuk, a brother of President Lee Myung-Bak, to the North African country.

On Saturday Libya released a South Korean pastor, arrested in June for bringing religious materials into the Muslim country, and another man accused of helping the pastor.


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