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Seoul to begin repair of liaison office in Kaesong

All Headlines 19:00 July 01, 2018

SEOUL, July 1 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean officials and workers will visit North Korea this week to repair an office in Kaesong that is to be used as a liaison office between the two Koreas, Seoul's unification ministry said Sunday.

The group will consist of 26 officials and workers who will commute between the two Koreas until their living quarters are set up in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, a ministry official said.

The office to be used as a liaison office for the Koreas was used by a joint committee of the two Koreas that oversaw the Kaesong joint industrial complex.

The office has largely been neglected since 2010 when North Korea pulled out of the joint committee in protest against South Korean sanctions intended to punish the impoverished North for its sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, earlier that year.

The entire industrial park remains closed to South Koreans after Seoul pulled out all South Korean businesses there in February 2016 as part of efforts to punish the North for its nuclear and missile activities.

The liaison office, if established, is expected to help further improve relations between the Koreas following the historic summits held by their leaders in April and May.

The decision to open a liaison office, the first of its kind between the two Koreas, was reached at the April 27 summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Seoul's Vice Unification Minister, Chun Hae-sung, has said the Koreas have agreed to open the liaison office before the end of August.

The two Koreas technically remain at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended only with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
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