Seoul, Washington discuss telephone contact resumption with Pyongyang

Seoul, Jul 29 (EFE).- High-level diplomats from South Korea and the United States discussed Thursday by phone North Korea’s decision to reestablish telematic communication with Seoul more than one year after ceasing them.

Vice Foreign Heads of Seoul and Washington, Choi Jong-kun and Wendy Sherman and those responsible for the nuclear negotiations of both parties, Nok Kyu-duk and Sung Kim, discussed Pyongyang’s new approach, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry reported Tuesday.

“They exchanged approaches regarding cooperation spaces between the Republic of Korea (official name of the South) and the United States to achieve practical progress in denuclearization and in the establishment of a lasting peace” on the peninsula, according to the Foreign Ministry statement.

Seoul stressed the “importance of continuing to pursue dialogue and rapprochement with the North after inter-Korean lines of communication have been reestablished” while US diplomats “reaffirmed the support of the US government for inter-Korean dialogue,” according to the text.

Both parties agreed to maintain communication and coordination to achieve progress that will help solve the situation on the Korean peninsula.

The two Koreas announced Tuesday that Pyongyang agreed to resume telematic communication 13 months after choosing to stop in protest at the sending, via balloons, of anti-regime propaganda by activists from the south.

A few days after announcing that decision, Pyongyang destroyed the building of the inter-Korean liaison office on its territory (one of the main obstacles to achieving progress in the dialogue) and halted talks between the countries, who are technically still at war.

The relationship had soured after the failed denuclearization summit between North Korea and the US in Hanoi in February 2019. This re-establishment of contacts on the peninsula and the Seoul-Washington coordination supported by US President Joe Biden could also serve to relaunch disarmament talks. EFE


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