Direct hotline between Moon Jae-in, Kim Jong-un likely to be set up this week

Seoul: A hotline between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a direct dialogue is likely to be set up later this week, a senior Blue House official said on Tuesday.

 Direct hotline between Moon Jae-in, Kim Jong-un likely to be set up this week

File image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Reuters

Im Jong-seok, chief of staff for Moon, told a press briefing that the hotline was due to be installed around Friday as talks had already been held twice on that issue, Xinhua news agency reported.

He said that the exact date of the first Moon-Kim conversation via the telephone was yet to be decided.

Moon and Kim agreed to hold their first face-to-face meeting on 27 April at the border village of Panmunjom. They decided to establish a direct hotline and have the first telephone talks before the summit takes place.

If necessary, Im said that the possibility was always open for Chung Eui-yong, chief of the National Security Office of the Blue House (Presidential House), or Suh Hoon, head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), to visit Pyongyang before the inter-Korean summit.

As special emissaries for Moon, Chung and Suh met Kim in Pyongyang in early March when the two Koreas agreed to hold the third-ever inter-Korean summit in late April.

Im said communication channels with North Korea through South Korea's intelligence agency were always open. He added that many issues would be discussed between the two sides during the second round of working-level talks for security, protocol and media coverage for the Moon-Kim summit.

The working-level dialogue is set to be held on Wednesday in Panmunjom.

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Updated Date: Apr 17, 2018 19:55:55 IST