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Friday, 30 July 2021 00:00

Restoration of direct communication between South and North Korea

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Relations between South Korea and North Korea are slowly recovering. As a first step, both countries reopened all direct lines of communication or hotlines  last Tuesday (27/7).  The relations deteriorated last year after the failed meeting of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, facilitated by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.  However, since last April, President Moon Jae-in and Leader Kim Jong-un have continued to seek improvement by exchanging letters.

Reuters as quoted from Kompas on Thursday (29/7) reported, Spokesperson for the Presidential Palace of South Korea, Park Soo-hyun in a press statement explained that from the exchange of letters, both leaders agreed to reopen direct lines of communication between the two countries. He also remarked that the opening of this line of communication is the first step in the process of repairing relationships, regenerating mutual trust and reconciliation.

For both countries, this communication line is actually an important tool to prevent misunderstandings, especially along the heavily guarded joint border area of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). This direct line of communication is also used to arrange diplomatic meetings, coordinate sea and air traffic, facilitate humanitarian discussions, minimize the impact of natural disasters and establish cooperation in the economic field. South Korean President Moon Jae-in also said that the restoration of communication lines with North Korea could open up opportunities for the resumption of talks between North Korea and the United States regarding North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Hopefully, the opening of direct lines of communication between the two countries this time will not break up as before. Thus, it can really begin to restore relations and reconciliation efforts between the two Koreas. As a result, the reconciliation mission to unite two Koreas comes to be realized.

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