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Two Koreas to discuss reconnecting military hotline
  来源:苹果蓝号检测  更新时间:2024-07-26 02:39:25
Seoul, Pyongyang to narrow differences on military, humanitarian agendas

By Lee Min-hyung

Starting next week, the two Koreas plan to hold working-level negotiations to realize the April 27 Panmunjeom Declaration.

On Monday, Seoul and Pyongyang will hold colonel-level talks about restoring suspended military communication channels on the eastern and western inter-Korean border area.

According to the Ministry of National Defense, South Korea will send a delegation led by Army Colonel Cho Yong-geun for talks with a North Korean group led by Colonel Om Chang-nam at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) office in the South's border village of Paju at 10 a.m.

The delegates will review and discuss details of a recent military agreement signed during a general-level dialogue in mid-June.

At that time, the two Koreas agreed to "fully restore" cross-border military communication lines along the East and West Sea, and reached a series of agreements on easing tension in some disputed inter-Korean border areas.

"Both sides will negotiate working-level procedures to restore the coastline communication lines," the defense ministry said in a statement.

The talks follow the April 27 agreement when the two sides agreed to stop military provocations and do all they could to avoid possible military conflict.

Aside from the military agenda, the countries have set a hectic schedule to engage more in inter-Korean activities.

On Wednesday, a South Korean team will visit Mount Geumgang in the North to inspect and repair facilities there before holding a reunion of family members separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The planned family reunion will take place sometime between Aug. 20 and 26.

It will be the first time since October 2015 that Seoul and Pyongyang have held a family reunion.

The planned reunion of separated families is also part of the agreement in the Panmunjeom Declaration. The agreement says Seoul and Pyongyang would hold the reunions around Aug. 15, which marks Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

For the humanitarian event, the two Koreas will select 100 people from the South and 100 from the North.

The South also plans to help repair the inter-Korean industrial zone in Gaeseong in the North.

Operations at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) have been suspended since February 2016 when inter-Korean relations reached their lowest ebb amid Pyongyang's nuclear tests.

But under the inter-Korean agreement, the two sides agreed to set up a jointly operated liaison office inside the GIC. The plan is to use the office for inter-Korean engagement.

South Korean officials visited the North Korean city in recent days to undertake preparatory work ahead of the planned opening of the office in August.



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