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Kim Jong-un Re-opens Communication Line to South Korea

Jan. 3, 2018 (EIRNS)—Pyongyang has re-opened the communications channel between South and North. According to a report this morning in the Korea Herald, the North called the South through the Panmunjon truce center at 3:30 p.m. local time today. According to the Ministry of Unification, the call lasted 20 minutes, during which the two sides’ communications officers checked for possible faults in the inter-Korean connection.

North Korea broke its silence earlier in the day, when Ri Son-kwon, the head of North Korea’s agency handling inter-Korean affairs, announced the plans to reconnect the line at 3:00 p.m. (North Korea time is 30 minutes behind South Korea time). Ri said that Kim welcomes President Moon Jae-in’s orders given at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, to make preparations for North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics, and added that Kim stressed that improving inter-Korean relations were up to the governments of the two Koreas, hinting at Pyongyang’s concerns over U.S. involvement.

The re-opening of the phone line was welcomed in Seoul.

"Re-establishing communications is significant. It is deemed that [inter-Korean communications] is taking on a structure that allows communications at all times,"

said Yoon Young-chan, senior presidential press secretary. He added, "I believe it signals a move toward an environment where communication will be possible at all times."

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha spoke by phone with Secretary Rex Tillerson today, explaining Seoul’s position regarding the opening to the North.

Nikki Haley, John Bolton’s protege now at the UN, typically made an ass of herself when asked about the opening of talks between the two Koreas:

"We won’t take any of the talks seriously if they don’t do something to ban all nuclear weapons in North Korea.... North Korea can talk with anyone they want, but the U.S. is not going to recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons that they have."