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Restoring communication between two Koreas most urgent task: Experts Updated: 2021-09-27 09:29:00 KST


North Korea watchers say restoring communication lines between the two Koreas is one of the most urgent tasks at hand when it comes to diplomacy on the peninsula.
In a statement Saturday, the North Korean leader's sister, Kim Yo-jong, said she feels the desire in the South to restore inter-Korean ties is irresistibly strong, adding the North feels the same way.
She then hinted at the possibility of declaring a formal end to the Korean War as recently proposed by President Moon Jae-in at the UN General Assembly and holding another inter-Korean summit.
Experts say the North could be using President Moon's offer as a means to revitalize inter-Korean dialogue, which is why restoring hotlines between the two sides should be seen as a top priority.
The North cut off all hotlines and blew up the joint liaison office last June in protest over anti-Pyeongyang propaganda leaflets flown over the border by South Korean activists.
The communication lines were back up briefly in late July, but the North has been unresponsive to Seoul's attempts to call ever since the South Korea-U.S. joint military drills in the summer.
One analyst says that restoring a communication channel at an early date could be a first step for the regime as it could easily start answering Seoul's calls.
That could pave a way for opening a new liaison office, holding an inter-Korean summit, implementing additional military agreements and potentially even declaring a formal end to the Korean War.
Seoul could also press for more formal talks with Pyeongyang by issuing a statement.
In 2018, when Kim Jong-un expressed an interest in participating in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Seoul's unification ministry officially proposed high-level talks, and the North announced its willingness to open a hotline just a day later.
Another expert suggests an exchange of letters - like the leaders of the two Koreas have done in the past - could also facilitate the resumption of dialogue.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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