Javascript Menu by Deluxe-Menu.com

Toon Center Today In St. Kitts - Nevis History SKNBuzz Radio - Strictly Local Music SKNVibes TV News
notices | birthdays | movies | photos | deaths | ferry schedule | toon center
SKNVibes | Click Here For Our Home Page...
Hello. Sign in to get exciting, personalized features & options. New user? Start Here!.
Local News |  Regional News |  International News |  Video News |  News Archive                                                                 
 International News  >  GENERAL NEWS
Posted: Thursday 6 June, 2013 at 10:05 PM

N. Korea reopens hotline with South, talks set for June 9

   news home  |   view comments  |   post a comment  |   print article  |   save article  |   add to favorites  |   email a friend  |   report a typo  |   send us feedback  |   letter to the editor Bookmark and Share
South Korean military trucks drive past barricades on the road to the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea on June 6, 2013. North Korea said Friday it would restore an official hotline with rival South Korea, but pushed back at Seoul's proposal of ministerial-level talks to be held in Seoul next week.
Photos 1 of 4
By: Giles Hewitt, SEOUL (AFP)
Comments    0 Recommend    5

    (Seoul, KOR) - North Korea reopened a hotline with South Korea on Friday as the two sides agreed to weekend talks aimed at mending ties after months of soaring tensions and threats of nuclear war.

     

    The two Koreas unexpectedly reached a snap agreement Thursday on opening a dialogue, with South Korea responding to a North initiative by offering a ministerial-level meeting in Seoul on June 12.

     

    A spokesman for Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) then suggested initial lower-level talks Sunday in the Kaesong joint industrial zone.

     

    The South's Unification Ministry -- using the newly reopened hotline -- agreed but said the border truce village of Panmunjom would be a more appropriate venue.

     

    The North shut down Kaesong, which lies just over its side of the border, in April as military tensions on the divided peninsula peaked. Reopening the joint complex will top the agenda for the proposed dialogue.

     

    "Working-level contact... is necessary prior to ministerial-level talks proposed by the South, in light of the prevailing situation in which bilateral relations have stalemated for years and mistrust has reached an extreme," the CPRK spokesman said.

     

    The restoration of the Red Cross hotline, which Pyongyang had cut in March, marked a tangible step in the effort to dial down tensions.

     

    The telephone link that runs through Panmunjom has long been a vital source of government-to-government communication in the absence of diplomatic relations.

     

    The last working-level talks between the two countries were held in February 2011, and there have been no inter-Korean talks at the ministerial level since 2007.

     

    The agreement on resuming a dialogue, came just ahead of Friday's US-China summit, at which the North's nuclear programme will be high on the agenda.

     

    The North's nuclear test in February resulted in tightened UN sanctions and triggered the cycle of escalating tensions that saw Pyongyang threaten pre-emptive nuclear strikes against the United States and South Korea.

     

    China, the North's sole major ally and economic benefactor, has been under pressure from the United States to restrain its neighbour, and both Washington and Beijing welcomed the tentative talks agreement.

     

    Yoo Ho-Yeol, a North Korea expert at Korea University in Seoul, said North Korea's surprise shift signalled a desire to initiate a wider dialogue in the future that "would eventually include the United States".

     

    But US State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki made it clear that North Korea would have to show some commitment towards abandoning its nuclear weapons programme before the US got involved.

     

    "There remain a number of steps that the North Koreans need to take, including abiding by their international obligations... in order to have further discussion," Psaki told reporters.

     

    Pyongyang has repeatedly insisted that its nuclear deterrent is not up for negotiation.

     

    The proposed agenda for the North-South talks involves the re-opening of Kaesong, the resumption of tours to the North's Mount Kumgang resort and renewed cross-border family reunions.

     

    The Kaesong complex, established in 2004 as a symbol of inter-Korean cooperation, was the most high-profile casualty of the recent tensions.

     

    Operations ground to a halt after the North pulled all its 53,000 workers out in early April. The South withdrew its managers and officials soon afterwards.

     

    Ok Sung-Seok, vice president of the association representing the 123 South Korean firms established in Kaesong, welcomed the move away from confrontation towards dialogue.

     

    "We've been living in despair over the past 60 days," Ok told reporters. "The most important thing is how to secure a guarantee that such a disruption will not occur in the future."

     

    South Korean President Park Geun-Hye had called weeks ago for talks on Kaesong, but the North had rejected the offer.

     

    Park, who took office in February just days after the North's nuclear test, has pushed a "trust-building" policy with Pyongyang.

     

    In a meeting with top military commanders on Friday, Park said it was South Korea's "firm security posture" during the recent crisis that had prompted the North's talks proposal.

     

 BUSINESS FINDER
7568 text it... find it...
Search our directory with your mobile phone... Text any search criteria to '7568' and get instant results on any mobile phone.
 FEATURED TOON 
 Don't fly kites next to airports 
 Thursday, 17 April, 2014 
 VIEW ALL TOONS 
 INSURANCE
     
     
compare all insurance options
News
Sports
Education
Health
Justice
Religion
Market Place
Entertainment
Money
Island Facts
Politics
Travel
Opinion
Technology
Off Beat
About Us
SKNVibes | We are here to help...
We're here to help. Call: 869-466-9242
Email: support@sknvibes.com