The two Koreas agreed Monday to “quickly” restore their military communication lines during their working-level talks aimed at reducing tensions and building trust, Yonhap News Agency reported.
“At this working-level contact, the two sides shared the understanding that restoring military communication lines is urgent so as to implement the military segment of the Panmunjom declaration,” Seoul’s Defense Ministry said in a press release. The ministry was referring to the declaration that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un adopted after their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27.
The first colonel-grade meeting in more than seven years was held in Paju, just south of the inter-Korean border, to follow up on an agreement from their June 14 general-grade talks, the report said.
Army Col. Cho Yong-geun led the South Korean delegation, while Col. Om Chang-nam represented the North. The two sides agreed to promptly take measures necessary to normalize the partially restored western line, while holding additional talks over the severed eastern line for its early restoration.
The two sides opened the western communication line in 2002 and the eastern one the following year. The western line was suspended in 2016 following Seoul’s shutdown of the inter-Korean industrial complex, but its telephone link was restored in January ahead of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, in which the North participated. The eastern line was blocked in 2011 amid military tensions.
Source: Kuwait News Agency