Koreas open joint of­fice

The Weekend Post - - World -

THE two Koreas have opened their first li­ai­son of­fice near their tense bor­der to fa­cil­i­tate bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion ahead of their lead­ers’ sum­mit in Py­ongyang next week.

The of­fice’s open­ing at the North Korean bor­der town of Kaesong is the lat­est in a se­ries of rec­on­cil­ia­tory steps the Koreas have taken this year. The of­fice is the first of its kind since the Koreas were di­vided at the end of World War II.

North and South Korea so far used tele­phone and fax-like com­mu­ni­ca­tion to ar­range talks and ex­change mes­sages. But those have been of­ten sus­pended when ten­sions rose over the North’s nu­clear pro­gram.

In an open­ing cer­e­mony at Kaesong, South Korea’s Unifi- cation Min­is­ter Cho My­oung­gyon said the of­fice will be­come the “cra­dle of Korean co-pros­per­ity”.

“We’ll sit face-to-face, ex­change our thoughts fast and ac­cu­rately and put our heads to­gether to re­solve dif­fi­cult mat­ters,” he said in re­marks dis­trib­uted by his of­fice.

About 15-20 South Korean of­fi­cials are ex­pected to stay at the of­fice and a lodg­ing fa­cil­ity in Kaesong dur­ing week­days and take turns staffing the of­fice on week­ends, ac­cord­ing to Seoul’s Uni­fi­ca­tion Min­istry.

They will deal with North Korean of­fi­cials sta­tioned at the of­fice to dis­cuss var­i­ous in­ter-Korean is­sues, ex­change mes­sages and fa­cil­i­tate civil­ian ex­change pro­grams.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.