SEOUL: South Korea on Sunday urged North Korea to restore dormant communication hotlines, a day after the North repeated an offer to open conditional talks, reports The Associated Press.
The North might be seeking to extract concessions about two weeks after it raised tensions by carrying out its first missile tests in six months. North Korea has twice reached out to South Korea saying it’s open to talks if conditions are met.
On Sunday, South Korea’s Unification Ministry called Kim Yo Jong’s statement “meaningful,” saying the South has been consistently pushing to achieve denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue.
To hold talks on beginning steps toward reconciliation, a ministry statement said that suspended cross-border communication lines must be reactivated quickly to promote stable communications between the divided countries. It said Seoul hopes the two Koreas can resume talks on many pending issues.
The South Korean statement refers to a set of phone- and fax-like communication channels between the rivals, which have been largely dormant for more than a year. The two Koreas briefly resumed communications over the channels for about two weeks this summer, but North Korea later refused to exchange messages again after Seoul staged annual military drills with Washington.