Kim Jong-un Requested Restoration of Inter-Korean Hotline, South Korean Spy Agency Says
© REUTERS / KCNANorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses a conference of cell secretaries of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, in this undated photo released on April 7, 2021 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
© REUTERS / KCNA
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was the one who suggested reopening cross-border communication lines between Seoul and Pyongyang that were cut off by North Korea last summer, the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) said Tuesday.
"[The restoration] was what Chairman Kim Jong-un requested," senior intelligence officials Kim Byung-kee and Ha Tae-keung told the parliament, as quoted by Yonhap.
Since April, the two leaders exchanged two official letters, in which they shared their commitment to "recovering trust and improving relations between the two Koreas," the spy agency added.
Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s sister, warned however that South Korean-US joint regular military drills would impede the inter-Korean dialogue.
The United States and South Korea are preparing to conduct a joint military exercise in August via computer simulations. The two countries have carried out such drills since 2018 to support denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
On July 27, inter-Korean communication lines were restored, giving hopes for resuming dialogue between the two countries. On Tuesday, Pyongyang answered Seoul’s calls via the hotline for the first time in 13 months. Initially officials refused to comment on whose initiative the reopening was.