DPRK leader suggests restoring inter-Korean hotlines in early Oct

In this photo provided by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s government, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un speaks during a parliament meeting in Pyongyang, DPRK, Sept 29, 2021. (KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY / KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP)

PYONGYANG – Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has called for the restoration of inter-Korean hotlines in early October if the Republic of Korea (ROK) changes its confrontational and habitual attitude toward Pyongyang, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday.

Kim made the speech on the second-day sitting of the 5th Session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly on Wednesday.

DPRK leader Kim Jong-un stressed that it was important for ROK authorities to change its confrontational and habitual attitude toward the DPRK

He expressed the intention to see the north-south communication lines that had been cut off due to the deteriorated inter-Korean relations are restored first from early October, as part of the efforts for realizing the expectations and desire of the entire Korean nation to see the earlier recovery of the north-south relations from the present deadlock, according to the report.

The DPRK is also referred to North Korea, and the ROK as South Korea.

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However, it is important for ROK authorities to change its confrontational and habitual attitude toward the DPRK, and keep the stand of national independence through practices, not with words, deal with the inter-Korean relations with a view to settling the essential matters, and give weight to and sincerely implement the north-south declarations, Kim stressed.

He said that the inter-Korean relations now stand at the crossroads of serious choices – either to advance toward reconciliation and cooperation after warming the present cooled-off relations or to suffer from national division amid a vicious cycle of confrontation – and advanced the principled matters for the fundamental settlement of the north-south relations.

Kim pointed out that recently, the United States and ROK were destroying the stability and balance around the Korean Peninsula, and inviting more complicated dangers of clash between the north and the south through excessive arms buildup and allied military activities that arouse concerns.

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In his speech, Kim analyzed the current international political situation, saying that there now exist not a few serious crises and challenges facing the world but the fundamental danger from the United States and its vassal forces' high-handed and arbitrary practices that destroy the foundation of international peace and stability.

Inter-Korean relations have remained cold since the summit between the DPRK and the United States reached no deal in early 2019. The inter-Korean hotlines were briefly back in operation in late July, but the DPRK began refusing Seoul's regular calls again two weeks later in protest against the joint military drills by ROK and the United States.