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N. Korea likely to answer calls on inter-Korean hotlines in the coming week: Experts
Updated: 2021-10-01 17:00:55 KST
North Korea watchers say Pyeongyang will pick up the phone when Seoul calls in the next week, in line with remarks Thursday by the North's leader, Kim Jong-un.
They say the regime now has room to engage despite its long-held demand for an end to what it sees as a double standard when it comes to military drills by Seoul and Washington and what it calls their hostile policies.

"By double standard, the North means the South Korea-U.S. joint military drills. There are not expected to be any exercises until next March, so there's no major obstacle to talks."

Also, he added, restoring the inter-Korean communication channels is not hard to do.
Instead, the North is implying that future negotiations must align with its own interests and requests, unlike the rather unsuccessful talks of 2018 and 2019.
Yet, the North's unpredictability continues, as seen in its test-firing of a missile right after a reconciliatory message, meant to show that dialogue with the South and its own military build-up are separate matters.

"The North is saying 'don't comment on our every move.' It's insisting that its nuclear development is purely defensive in nature."

And while trying to maintain inter-Korean relations, Seoul's foreign ministry has once again pledged continuous cooperation with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to the North and achieve a formal end to the Korean War.
The ministry said Seoul has reaffirmed joint efforts with Washington to reengage with Pyeongyang.
It further vowed to encourage China and Russia to take constructive roles in resuming talks with the North and to manage the situation in a stable manner.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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