North Korea resumes communication channels and agrees to improve relations

SEOUL, South Korea (Associated Press)-Although the US-led diplomacy aimed at depriving North Korea of ​​sovereignty has been deadlocked for 2.5 years, the two governments said on Tuesday that North Korea and South Korea have resumed suspended communication channels, and the leaders of the two countries agreed to improve relation. Its nuclear weapons.

The Seoul President’s Office stated that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have exchanged letters several times since April and reached an agreement.

Blue House spokesperson Park Soo-hyun said at a TV briefing that the leaders of the two countries agreed to “restore mutual trust as soon as possible and re-development of relations”. Park Geun-hye said that the two countries subsequently reopened their channels of communication on Tuesday morning.

North Korea’s official media quickly confirmed South Korea’s statement.

“Now, the entire Korean nation wants to see North-South relations recover from setbacks and stagnation as soon as possible,” the official North Korean Central News Agency said. “In this regard, the top leaders of the North and South agreed to restore the cut-off line of communication between North Korea and South Korea through the recent private letter exchanges, which is a big step towards restoring mutual trust and promoting reconciliation.”

Last year, North Korea cut off all channels of communication with South Korea to protest its alleged failure by South Korea to prevent activists from distributing anti-Pyongyang leaflets on its borders. Some experts said that North Korea’s actions showed North Korea’s frustration at Seoul’s failure to revive profitable North Korea’s economic projects and persuade the United States to ease sanctions.

Since the second of the three summits between Kim Jong Un and then President Donald Trump broke in early 2019, the nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have made little progress. Since then, Kim Jong-un threatened to strengthen his nuclear arsenal and build more advanced weapons unless the Americans cancel what North Korea considers hostile, which is believed to refer to long-term US-led sanctions.

Some experts said earlier that if economic difficulties worsen, North Korea may be forced to reach out to the United States or South Korea. Mismanagement, storm damage, and border closures during the coronavirus pandemic have further depleted North Korea’s economy. In a recent speech, Kim called on his people to prepare for the long-term COVID-19 restrictions. Although his remarks may indicate that the economic situation may deteriorate, the external monitoring organization has yet to see signs of massive hunger or social chaos in this country of 26 million people.

Tuesday is the 68th anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Since the end of the war, the Korean peninsula has remained divided along the most heavily fortified border in the world.

Approximately 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to prevent potential aggression by North Korea.

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