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Two Koreas Restore Communication Channel After 14-Months Hiatus with Dr. Go Myong-hyun Updated: 2021-07-27 17:28:29 KST

The leaders of North and South Korea restored suspended communication channels between them and agreed to improve ties, both governments said Tuesday, amid a 2-and-a-half year-stalemate in U.S.-led diplomacy aimed at stripping North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

The decision to restore the links was brokered in a series of letters exchanged since April between President Moon Jae-in and North Korea's Kim Jong-un. The pair chose to reopen communications on a symbolic day: the anniversary of the truce that effectively ended the Korean War in 1953.
Do you think this day was chosen for a reason?

Both Seoul's presidential Blue House and North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said the restoration of the hotline reflects their desire to improve bilateral relations.
Why the sudden change of heart by Kim Jong-un? We have been getting reports of North Korea's deepening economic troubles already hit hard by international sanctions.
A looming food shortage, even. Is it this that's compelled North Korea to reopen communications with the South?

What do you think was offered by the South then?

The presidential Blue House denied having discussed holding a summit - even if a virtual one - or phone talks between the leaders of the two Koreas despite acknowledging that the leaders have exchanged personal letters. What are your thoughts?

After a monthslong policy review, the Biden administration committed to take a "calibrated" and
"practical" approach toward the North. But the North has yet to respond to Washington's offer to reopen dialogue "anywhere, anytime without preconditions." Do you think the North's opening up to the South will lead to Pyeongyang's return to dialogue with Washignton, as well?

Go Myong-hyun, our senior North Korea analyst here on Arirang Newscenter. Many thanks for your insights. We appreciate it.
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