Two Koreas open first liaison office since World War II

18 September, 2018, 09:29 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Reuters

"At this stage, I believe it is most important to put a complete end to military tensions between North and South, or possibility of military conflict, or war threat", Moon told reporters Thursday.

The North was "willing to denuclearise", Moon said Thursday, while the USA was willing to "end hostile relations" and provide security guarantees, "but there is a blockage as both sides are demanding each other to act first". The third inter-Korean summit has been planned as denuclearization discussion between the United States and North Korea have faltered.

Visiting research fellow Cheon Seong Whun, with the Asian Institute for Political Studies, told VOA there is fundamentally one issue the global community needs to focus on at the summit.

The liaison office opening has been delayed by friction between the United States and North Korea, as well as questions over whether supplying the office would violate U.N. sanctions.

Mr Moon, who has positioned himself as a mediator between Mr Trump and Mr Kim, will seek to inject new energy into stalled US-North Korea nuclear talks when he meets Mr Kim on Tuesday in Pyongyang, analysts say.

The neighbours are also discussing reconnecting railways and roads, and lessening guard posts along the heavily militarised border.

The rival Koreas on Friday opened their first liaison office near their tense border to facilitate better communication and exchanges ahead of their leaders' summit in Pyongyang next week.

But Bolton, known for his hawkish stance against Pyongyang, added, "President Trump can't make the North Koreans walk through the door he is holding open".

Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, said during the ceremony that the office would help the Koreas exchange "candid conversations" and further build up their ties, according to South Korean media pool reports from the site.

However, the true benefit of the office won't be realized for some time, said Lee Kyu-chang, Senior Research Fellow, Unification Policy Research Division, at Korea Institute for National Unification. -North Korea talks back on track.

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump holds up document that he and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un signed at their summit on Sentosa Island, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.

However, no details were agreed, and Washington and Pyongyang have sparred since over what that means and how it will be achieved. This means that for official talks, they have relied upon their respective missions to the United Nations in NY or have held meetings in the truce village of Panmunjom - channels which have proven cumbersome. But its operation was suspended in 2016 amid an escalating standoff over North Korea's long-range rocket launches.

It will be the third summit this year between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The office is the first of its kind since the Koreas were divided at the end of World War II in 1945.



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