North and South Korea Have Opened Their First Liaison Office to Improve Communication

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PANMUNJOM, NORTH KOREA - MAY 26: In this handout image provided by South Korean Presidential Blue House, South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) shake hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) before their meeting on May 26, 2018 in Panmunjom, North Korea. North and South Korean leaders held the surprise second summit after U.S. President Donald Trump cancelled the meeting with Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12. Trump has since indicated that the meeting could take place a day after. (Photo by South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images)

By Associated Press

(SEOUL, South Korea) — The rival Koreas have opened their first liaison office near their tense border to facilitate better communication and exchanges.

The opening of the office Friday comes before the leaders of the Koreas meet for the third time this year next week to discuss denuclearization of the peninsula and other issues.

The office launched at the North Korean border town of Kaesong is the first of its kind since the Koreas were divided at the end of World War II.

The Koreas have been using telephone and fax-like communication channels when they want to arrange talks and exchange messages.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry says about 15-20 South Korean officials are expected to stay at the office and a nearby lodging facility in Kaesong during the weekdays.

 

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