Hotline for Korean leaders likely to be installed this week: official
A hotline for the leaders of South and North Korea will likely be set up later this week, a senior presidential Blue House official said Tuesday.
Im Jong-seok, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s chief of staff, told a press briefing that the hotline between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to be installed around Friday, as working-level talks were already held twice on that issue.
Im said the first Moon-Kim conversation through the hotline is expected to be made possible around Friday, but he noted that the exact date had yet to be decided.
There’s no official announcement of the phone conversation from North Korea as of press time.
Moon and Kim agreed to hold their first face-to-face meeting on April 27 at the border village of Panmunjom. They decided to establish a direct hotline between them and have the first telephone conversation before the summit.
Im said the Moon-Kim summit will be a historic event as it will be the first time for a North Korean leader to set foot on South Korean soil, Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported.
If necessary, Im said, the possibility is always open for Chung Eui-yong, chief of the Blue House’s National Security Office, or Suh Hoon, head of the National Intelligence Service, to visit Pyongyang before the inter-Korea summit.
As Moon’s special emissaries, Chung and Suh met with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang in March when the two Koreas agreed to hold the third-ever inter-Korea summit in late April.
Im said communication lines with North Korea has always been smooth.
He added many issues would be discussed between the two sides during the second round of working-level talks on security, protocol and media coverage for the Moon-Kim summit.
The working-level dialogue is set to be held on Wednesday in Panmunjom.