(Photo: Xinhua/Newsis)

Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to rebuild a full-scale dialogue on various issues, including military ones. Namely, they decided to restore talks between military personnel in order to prevent incidents involving weapons. The two sides also vowed to ramp up exchanges and collaboration in various fields.

The talks were the first to take place in more than two years, and are likely to prove a major turning point in overcoming a nearly ten-year vacuum and opening up a new chapter in inter-Korean relations.

China on January 9th hailed the positive outcome of talks. "It is encouraging that the two sides show each other goodwill and shake hands at a time when the situation of the Korean Peninsula is quite tense," spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily press briefing.

"The US welcomes the January 9th meeting between the RoK and DPRK aimed at ensuring a safe, secure, and successful Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, referring to the Republic of Korea by its formal name.

RoK’s President Moon Jae-in and his American counterpart Donald Trump welcomed the resumption of inter-Korean talks, with Mr Trump saying that the US is also open to talks with the regime "at an appropriate time and circumstance".

In a phone conversation, both leaders agreed the talks may go beyond the DPRK’s participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics and naturally lead to negotiations about denuclearization.

Also on January 9th, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed progress in talks to ease military tensions, and the DPRK’s decision to send a delegation to next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the RoK, his spokesman said.

Mr. Guterres welcomed “the agreement to work to ease military tensions, hold military-to-military talks, and reopen the inter-Korean military hotline,” his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement.

“The re-establishment and strengthening of such channels is critical to lowering the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding, and to reduce tensions in the region,” the statement added.

Earlier, the two nations reopened the communication channel that had been shut since 2016, following an offer from the DPRK’s leader Kim Jong-un to send a team to next month's Winter Olympics.

Yoon Young-chan, Senior Press Secretary for RoK President Moon Jae-in, told reporters that the reopening had great meaning, saying it would make regular intra-Korean talks possible./.

 

 

Compiled by BTA