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North bullies South over communication lines
  来源:苹果apple账号注册  更新时间:2024-06-14 13:18:04
In this <strong></strong>photo provided by the Ministry of National Defense, a South Korean military officer makes a test call to his North Korean counterpart, Monday, as North Korea restored cross-border communication lines Monday morning after being cut off for 55 days. Yonhap
In this photo provided by the Ministry of National Defense, a South Korean military officer makes a test call to his North Korean counterpart, Monday, as North Korea restored cross-border communication lines Monday morning after being cut off for 55 days. Yonhap

By Kwon Mee-yoo

North Korea restored direct communication hotlines between the two Koreas, Monday, 55 days after shutting them down to protest against the annual South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises in August. But the restoration is not entirely welcomed, as critics say the South is allowing itself to be dragged around by the North's decision and the hotlines can be severed again anytime Pyongyang decides to do so.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced last week the restoration of cross-border communication lines and North Korean state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced the restoration early Monday.

South Korea's Ministry of Unification and Ministry of National Defense said it successfully talked with its North Korean counterparts via the eastern and western direct military communication lines and the liaison office at 9 a.m. The unification ministry added that the reconnection "laid the ground for bringing the relations between the two Koreas back on track" with the hope to resume dialogue with Pyongyang.

The inter-Korean hotlines, established in 1971 as an important means of communication between the two Koreas, have been severed and restored repeatedly according to the ups and downs of inter-Korean relations.

In recent years they were suspended in June 2020 when North Korea blew up a border liaison office and cut off all communication lines in a fit of rage against anti-Pyongyang airborne leaflets that drifted in from South Korea.

Koreas restore cross-border hotlines 55 days after suspensionKoreas restore cross-border hotlines 55 days after suspension 2021-10-04 09:54  |  North Korea
The lines were briefly restored in late July, but cut off again in early August when South Korea and the U.S. began an annual joint military exercises.

Regarding the restoration of the hotlines, the KCNA said South Korea "should make positive efforts to put the North-South ties on the right track and settle the important tasks" by "bearing deep in mind the meaning of the restoration of communication lines."

Experts believe the "important tasks" in the statement refer to the South scrapping what the North calls hostile policies against it.

Recently, Pyongyang has repeatedly demanded Seoul to abolish "double-dealing standards," which is assumed to be South Korea's weapons tests, including homegrown submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and its reference to North Korea's ballistic missile launches as provocations.

While President Moon Jae-in proposed declaring a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War in his U.N. speech in September, North Korea replied that the offer is an "admirable idea" but it will discuss the offer only when Seoul scraps its double standards and hostile policy toward Pyongyang.

As a result, the North could cut the communication lines again if it regards the South is not showing an effort to carry out the "important tasks."

Kim Yong-tae, a member of the main opposition People Power Party's Supreme Council and Youth Council, said the North is "gaslighting" the Moon administration.

"The inter-Korean communication lines were restored after 55 days. North Korea unilaterally suspended and restored the lines and the only thing South Korea said was that it has 'expectations' for the hotline to actually ease military tensions between the two Koreas," Kim wrote on his Facebook, Monday.

"North Korea tested missiles multiple times just last week, but President Moon merely suggests a formal end to the Korean War to nearby countries and the Korean people. The South Korean government cannot even say that what the North is doing is a 'provocation.'"




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