DPRK to reopen communications channel with S.Korea in Panmunjom

Xinhua Published: 2018-01-03 12:59:44
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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will reopen a communications channel with South Korea in the truce village of Panmunjom, which has been severed since early 2016, local media reports said Wednesday.

Visitors look at a map of North Korean towns at the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. [File photo: AP]

Visitors look at a map of North Korean towns at the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. [File photo: AP]

The DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland was quoted as saying the communications channel will be restored from 3:30 p.m. local time (0630 GMT) to make working-level discussions on issues on the dispatch of the DPRK's delegation to the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics.

The committee said the DPRK will closely contact with the South Korean side from an earnest and sincere attitude as it was commissioned by top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.

The inter-Korean communications channel has been cut off since the previous South Korean government unilaterally closed down the inter-Korean industrial zone in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong following Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

Seoul proposed Tuesday to Pyongyang holding a senior-level, inter-governmental dialogue on Jan. 9 to discuss the DPRK's sending of its delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics set to be held in February in South Korea's eastern county of PyeongChang.

The dialogue overture came a day after the DPRK's leader said in his New Year address that his country was willing to participate in the South Korea-hosted winter sports event and talk with South Korea about the DPRK's delegation dispatch.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed Kim's New Year address, ordering government officials to restore inter-Korean talks and draw up follow-up measures.

The DPRK's committee was quoted as saying Kim welcomed and thought highly of President Moon's comments on Kim's New Year speech.

The committee, however, made no mention of whether to accept Seoul's proposal for senior-level inter-Korean talks. 

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