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by Lina Sankari

Asia : The Koreas forge ahead

Translated Wednesday 23 January 2019, by Eoin Downey

Both countries announce the opening of a liaison office whilst taking a break from Washington.

There are no small breakthroughs in Korea, with all acts of peace being seen as a step towards a brighter future. Although the situation is still precarious, Pyongyang and Seoul announced the opening of a liaison office on Friday in the North Korean industrial zone of Kaesong. The region has not been in operation since 2016.

South Korea’s Minister of Unification described the office as a “channel of communication and consultation, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” Around 40 staff will be tasked with improving relations.

Just a week before the third Inter-Korean summit, where the official end of the war would be negotiated, Seoul is believed to be ready to welcome the 2032 olympic games in a joint-bid with the north “for the country”, explained the South Korean Minister of Sports, Do Jong-hwan.

Waters have calmed with the Americans, following a few weeks of light tension. The U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, cancelled a visit to Pyongyang, amid resumed military exercises by the North Koreans. The U.S were also keen to condemn a lack of progress in the North’s denuclearisation process.

A letter from Kim Jong-Un to Donald Trump seems to have changed the deal. Considered to be “welcoming”, the letter invites the U.S President to a second meeting. A lot has happened, including the return of soldier’s remains to American soil, the release of hostages, and the ceasing of missile and nuclear testing.

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