According to AP, The rival Koreas on Friday launched their first liaison office near their tense border to facilitate better communication and exchanges ahead of their leaders’ summit in Pyongyang next week.
The office’s opening at the North Korean border town of Kaesong is the latest in a series of reconciliatory steps the Koreas have taken this year. The office is the first of its kind since the Koreas were divided at the end of World War II in 1945.
The Koreas so far have been using telephone and fax-like communication channels when they want to arrange talks and exchange messages. But those channels have been often suspended when tensions rose over North Korea’s nuclear program.
In an opening ceremony at Kaesong, South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said the office will become the “cradle of Korean co-prosperity.”
“We’ll sit face to face, exchange our thoughts fast and accurately and put our heads together to resolve difficult matters,” he said in remarks distributed by his office.
Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, said during the ceremony that the office would help the Koreas have “candid conversations” and further build up their ties, according to South Korean media pool reports from the site.