By Yoon Sojung
The Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea welcomed North Korea’s proposal to open the Panmunjeom communications channel, it announced on Jan. 3.
In a press briefing at the Government Complex Seoul, Ministry of Unification spokesperson Baik Tae Hyun said, “Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the [North Korean] Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, stated on KCTV that North Korea would normalize the Panmunjeom communications channel today.”
“The R.O.K. Government welcomes the fact that North Korea responded to our proposal to normalize the Panmunjeom communications channel,” he said.
The unification ministry spokesperson added that, “Further procedures regarding inter-Korean government talks proposed yesterday will be discussed through the communications channel.”
Earlier that day, Ri said, “Our leader Kim Jong-un ordered us to open the Panmunjeom communications channel at 3:15 p.m., Pyongyang time, between the North and the South in order to discuss in a timely manner issues concerning sending a delegation to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and other related matters.”