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Inter-Korean talks must resume at early date at all levels: unification ministry

All News 13:40 April 26, 2021

SEOUL, April 26 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry called Monday for the resumption of inter-Korean talks at "all levels" at an early date on the eve of the anniversary of a historic 2018 summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The April 27 summit at the border village of Panmunjom led to a series of peace talks not only between the two Koreas but also between the North and the United States, including the unprecedented summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.

But the peace process has been stalled since the second summit between Kim and Trump in Hanoi ended without a denuclearization agreement in early 2019. The no-deal summit also brought inter-Korean exchanges and peace talks to a halt.

"The basic government position is that it is necessary to restore all levels of dialogue between the South and the North at an early date, including summit talks," Lee Jong-joo, the ministry's spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.

Lee said the government has "a firm determination" to implement inter-Korean agreements, including the Panmunjom Declaration reached at the April 27 summit, and talks between the two sides should resume as early as possible to carry out those agreements.

Last week, Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said that the government is currently not planning an inter-Korean summit but added that one should be pursued if there is such an opportunity.

Unification ministry spokesperson Lee said that several commemorative events led by nongovernmental organizations will take place this week to celebrate the third anniversary of the April 27 summit.

"Through such events, we will have the opportunity to reflect on the implications of the Panmunjom Declaration and reaffirm our will," she said.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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