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South-North hotline restoration ordered by Kim Jong Un

On Aug 3, the National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s intelligence agency, disclosed during a meeting of the country’s intelligence committee of the National Assembly that the restoration of the South-North hotline at the end of last month was ordered by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the South Korean media reported a committee member saying.


The intelligence agency said, “Through the exchange of two personal letters between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea since April, they expressed their willingness to restore trust and improve relations between the two Koreas.” The intelligence agency also presented its analysis, saying that the restoration of the hotline might have been aimed at seeking the implementation of the articles of the Panmunjom Declaration adopted at the 2018 inter-Korea summit.


Referring to the comment released on Aug. 1 by Vice Chairman Kim Yo Jong of the Workers’ Party of Korea calling for the suspension of a joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea, the intelligence agency presented its view, saying, “With the comment, North Korea expressed its intention to take reciprocal measures if the joint drill is cancelled.”


“North Korea seems to expect South Korea to play a role in the resumption of dialogue between the two Koreas,” Director Park Jie-won of the National Intelligence Service said regarding the restoration of the hotline.” In order to build momentum for dialogue between North Korea and South Korea and realize the bigger objective of North Korea’s denuclearization, “We should also consider responding flexibly to U.S.-South Korea joint drills,” said the director.


According to the intelligence agency, the food situation in North Korea is worsening, and the DPRK reportedly distributed stockpiled rice to needy households, local agencies and workers. As for a North-South summit, the director said that South Korea has not made any proposal.

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