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S. Korea to discuss with N.K. ways to hold virtual inter-Korean talks via restored hotlines

All News 11:49 July 29, 2021

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is planning to use the restored communication lines with North Korea to discuss ways to hold virtual inter-Korean talks amid the global pandemic, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

Four hotlines were restored Tuesday nearly 14 months after the North cut them off in June last year in protest of anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets coming in from the South.

"Considering the special circumstance of the coronavirus pandemic, we plan to discuss with the North holding a virtual conference, or safe ways to hold in-person talks, so that the restored inter-Korean communication lines can lead to the resumption of talks," the ministry official said.

The official said that the South has no plans as of now to assist the North in setting up the facilities and equipment required for the virtual conference.

The two Koreas have held their routine phone calls at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through the restored inter-Korean liaison line but have not yet discussed a specific agenda, the official said.

On Wednesday, the office of President Moon Jae-in dismissed a news report Wednesday that the two Koreas are in talks to arrange another summit and said that there have been no discussions on either face-to-face contact or virtual talks.

This photo, provided by the unification ministry, shows a South Korean liaison officer talking to his North Korean counterpart at the Seoul bureau of their joint liaison office on July 27, 2021. After a 13-month suspension, the two Koreas restored cross-border communication lines that Pyongyang severed last year in protest of propaganda leaflets coming in from the South. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This photo, provided by the unification ministry, shows a South Korean liaison officer talking to his North Korean counterpart at the Seoul bureau of their joint liaison office on July 27, 2021. After a 13-month suspension, the two Koreas restored cross-border communication lines that Pyongyang severed last year in protest of propaganda leaflets coming in from the South. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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