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Kim Jong-un requested restoration of inter-Korean communication channels: NIS Updated: 2021-08-04 09:41:22 KST

The recent restoration of long-severed communication channels between the two Koreas came upon the request of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
This is according to Seoul's National Intelligence Service during a parliamentary briefing on Tuesday.
Seoul and Pyeongyang have been talking on the phone twice a day since last Tuesday when they reopened their cross-border communication line some 13 months after the North unilaterally severed it in protest of propaganda leaflets coming from the South.
Regarding the recent warning by the North against the joint Seoul-Washington military drills, the intelligence agency analyzed that it's the regime's willingness to advance inter-Korean ties in return for calling off the exercises.

"Kim Jong-un needs a pretext to move inter-Korean ties and Pyeongyang-Washington relations forward so he's requesting a halt to the drills for his regime to make moves."

NIS director Park Jie-won added that the government needs to review ways to flexibly handle the matter in order to keep the momentum for inter-Korean talks and denuclearizing the regime.
Park also dismissed speculation over a possible fourth inter-Korean summit, underlining that Seoul has not requested one.
While no details about the upcoming drills are yet known other than they are set to take place mid-August, Seoul's unification ministry has reiterated its position that the exercises need to be delayed for a fresh change in inter-Korean relations.
Washington is also staying firm on its stancewith the State Department on Monday showing its commitment to maintaining the combined defense posture of the Seoul-Washington alliance.
Also on Tuesday, the NIS made it clear that Kim Jong-un has shown no signs of ill health, brushing off speculation over a recent photo showing a medical plaster on the back of his head.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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