Libya’s office reopens after recent row

Home > National > Politics

print dictionary print

Libya’s office reopens after recent row

Libya’s diplomatic mission in Korea will resume operations after its head returned to Korea, following four months of suspended diplomatic ties over a spy scandal, the foreign ministry said.

The foreign ministry said Masaoud Al Ghali, the head of Libya’s economic cooperation bureau, arrived to reopen the office in Seoul. The bureau serves as Libya’s de facto embassy in Korea.

In June, Libya expelled a Korean intelligence agent accused of attempting to collect information on Libya’s leader and the country’s weapons systems, and suspended the operation of its economic bureau in Seoul.

The dispute also led to Libya detaining two South Koreans for allegedly violating its religious law.

The row was resolved last week at a meeting between Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi and Korean lawmaker Lee Sang-deuk, who is the brother of President Lee Myung-bak. Libya agreed to reopen the economic office and released the detained Koreans.

Korean officials said Libya also is considering upgrading the office to full embassy status. Libya downgraded the embassy in Seoul in 2007 as part of a restructuring of it overseas diplomatic missions.

Al Ghali said relations between the two countries are in good shape.

“We think the bureau will be upgraded to an embassy sometime soon,” he told Yonhap News Agency.

“We think the two countries have to revitalize the bilateral relationship in various sectors, not only in political and economic matters, but in other areas as well.”

Hyundai E&C this week succeeded in getting the go-ahead to construct a Libyan power plant, valued at 1.3 billion won ($1.15 million). It followed a promise by the Libyan client to proceed with a down payment for the project that had been earlier delayed.


By Chun Su-jin, Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]


An official at Libya’s economic cooperation bureau in Itaewon, Seoul hangs his nation’s flag as diplomatic ties were resumed. [YONHAP]

More in Politics

PPP lawmaker in hot seat over family business

Blue House event seen as public display of support for Choo

DP expels Kim Dae-jung's son amid real estate scandal

Moon's buddies paid illegal salaries, says BAI

Big deal

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now