January 30, 2023

Koreas restore communication channels and agree to improve relations

North Korea’s state media quickly confirmed the South Korean announcement.

“Now, the entire Korean nation wants to see North-South relations recover quickly from recession and stagnation,” the official Korean Central News Agency reported. “In this regard, the top leaders of the North and South agreed to make great strides in restoring mutual trust and promoting reconciliation, cutting off Korean-interpersonal ties through the exchange of several personal letters recently.”

Last year, North Korea cut off all communications channels with South Korea, denouncing South Korea for failing to prevent anti-Pyongyang leaflets from floating on its border. Some experts say Seoul has failed to update economic plans between the two countries and that North Korea’s move to force the United States to ease sanctions has frustrated the North.

When the second of the three summits between Kim and then-President Donald Trump collapsed, the nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang had not progressed slightly since the beginning of 2019. Kim has threatened to raise his nuclear weapons and develop sophisticated weapons, which Americans consider hostile to the North if they do not raise policies – long believed to indicate US-led sanctions.

Some experts have previously said that North Korea may be forced to approach the United States or South Korea if its economic problems worsen. Mismanagement, storm damage and border closures during the Corona virus outbreak have further eroded North Korea’s economy, and Kim has called on his people to control long-term COVID-19 restrictions in recent speeches. Although his comments may indicate the potential for worsening economic conditions, outside monitoring groups have found no signs of mass starvation or social unrest in the country of 26 million people.

Tuesday marks the 68th anniversary of the signing of a warship that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Since the end of the war, the Koreas have split along the world’s largest fortified border.

About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to prevent an invasion from North Korea.