S. Korea and DPRK re­store mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tion

Shanghai Daily - - TOP NEWS - (Xin­hua)

SOUTH Korea and the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea agreed yes­ter­day to com­pletely re­store mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines along the eastern and western ar­eas af­ter hold­ing gen­eral-grade talks, Seoul’s de­fense min­istry said.

Gen­eral-level mil­i­tary of­fi­cers from the two sides held talks on mil­i­tary af­fairs, the first of its kind in over 10 years, at Tongil­gak, a DPRK build­ing in the truce vil­lage of Pan­munjom that strad­dles the di­vided Koreas. The last gen­eral-level mil­i­tary di­a­logue be­tween Seoul and Py­ongyang was held in De­cem­ber 2007.

The two sides agreed to com­pletely re­store the eastern and western mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines, while thor­oughly implementing the agree­ment reached in June 2004 dur­ing the gen­eral-grade in­ter-Korean talks to pre­vent mar­itime con­flicts in the western wa­ters along the border.

The western mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tion line was al­ready re­stored in Jan­uary as the high­level in­ter-Korean di­a­logue was re­sumed in the month.

The western mil­i­tary chan­nel had been cut since Fe­bru­ary 2016 when then South Korean gov­ern­ment closed down the in­ter-Korean in­dus­trial com­plex in the DPRK’s border town of Kaesong over Py­ongyang’s nu­clear test.

The eastern mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tion line has been sev­ered un­til now as it was de­stroyed by for­est fire.

Dur­ing the talks, the two sides ex­changed opinions about a pi­lot de­mil­i­ta­riza­tion of the Joint Se­cu­rity Area in Pan­munjom to ease mil­i­tary ten­sions across the heav­ily armed in­ter-Korean border.

They also dis­cussed ways to stop all hos­tile acts, ways to turn the western mar­itime border into a peace zone, and safety guar­an­tees for in­terKorean ex­change, con­tact and co­op­er­a­tion.

Seoul and Py­ongyang agreed to con­tinue talks about those is­sues raised dur­ing yes­ter­day’s talks.

The five-mem­ber South Korean del­e­ga­tion was led by Ma­jor Gen­eral Kim Do-gyun, a se­nior-level of­fi­cial of the de­fense min­istry in charge of in­ter-Korean mil­i­tary af­fairs.

The DPRK side, com­posed of five del­e­gates, was headed by Lieu­tenant Gen­eral An Ik San.

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