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NSC officials check ways to maintain inter-Korean contact amid virus-related measures

All News 17:28 January 30, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top security officials on Thursday discussed how to ensure there is no gap in routine inter-Korean contact, as the two sides decided to temporarily close their liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong due to the outbreak of a new coronavirus, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

In a weekly National Security Council (NSC) standing committee meeting, its members also reviewed measures related to the protection of South Koreans in China against the deadly virus and responses by the international community. It was presided over by Chung Eui-yong, director of national security at the presidential office.

"They discussed ways for relevant responses, which include maintaining the liaison work between the South and the North in accordance with the provisional suspension of the operation of the Kaesong liaison office," Cheong Wa Dae said.

Chung Eui-yong, director of national security at Cheong Wa Dae, in a file photo (Yonhap)

They also talked about action plans on the New Northern Policy this year and agreed to make efforts to achieve tangible results through brisk exchanges and cooperation, especially in the energy, infrastructure and health and medical fields. Among major partners in the Moon Jae-in administration's diplomatic initiatives are China, Russia and other northern Eurasian countries.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Unification announced that the inter-Korean liaison office will be shut down until danger from the outbreak is "completely removed."

The two sides will establish new telephone and fax lines linking Seoul and Pyongyang to continue communications, it added.


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