Sunday, October 17, 2021

2 Koreas restore hotline despite North Korea’s missile tests

Seoul, South Korea (WNN) — North and South Korea on Monday restored a stalled communications hotline after a hiatus of weeks in a small, delicate reconciliation move, with the North making gestures of reconciliation and a mix of missile tests. Worked hard to win outside concessions.

Seoul’s unification ministry said the liaison officers of the two Koreas exchanged messages on a cross-border communication channel on Monday morning.

The two Koreas are expected to restore other communication channels across their tense border on Monday after both have previously expressed their intention to reopen them.

The phone and fax channels – which rival Koreas use to set up meetings, arrange border crossings and avoid accidental skirmishes – have been dormant for more than a year. Communications were briefly revived this summer for about two weeks, but North Korea later refused to exchange messages again after Seoul held an annual military exercise with Washington, Which he sees as an attack rehearsal.

“The South Korean authorities should make positive efforts to put North-South relations on the right track and take into account the meaning of the resumption of communication, prioritize important tasks to open up bright prospects in the future. lines,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said ahead of the resumption of the hotline.

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Seoul’s unification ministry said the reconnection of the hotline laid the foundation for the resumption of ties between the two Koreas and stability on the Korean peninsula. A ministry statement said Seoul expects the two Koreas to resume talks soon to discuss how to implement previous cooperation agreements and establish peace on the Korean peninsula.

Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed his desire to reactivate communication channels, saying he wanted to realize the Korean people’s desire to promote peace on the peninsula. But Kim urged Seoul to drop a “dual-tactful attitude” and a “hostile approach” on North Korea’s recent missile tests and other developments, while calling for talks against North Korea as a “cunning” disguise of its hostility. American offers were turned down.

Some experts say North Korea is trying to use South Korea’s will to pressure the United States into easing economic sanctions.

Aside from its peace proposals, North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests that were its first weapons launches in six months. The weapons tested include potentially nuclear-capable missiles that keep South Korea and Japan, both major US allies, within striking distance.

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