A day after Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said the two Koreas can take steps toward reconciliation, South Korea urged Pyongyang to restore dormant communication hotlines. Though Jong asked South Korea to abandon hostile policies and double-dealing standards, experts familiar with the development between the two countries, asserted that the North might be seeking to extract concessions as it has raised tensions by carrying out its first missile tests in six months. Experts said that the North has twice reached out to the South in order to initiate talks but with certain conditions.
Furthermore, the experts believe that Pyongyang wants Seoul to play a key role in getting relief from US-led sanctions. Experts noted the Kim Jong Un-lead government also wants to channelise other concessions pertaining to international recognition as a nuclear weapons state.
Soon after the recent talks between the two Koreas, South Korea's Unification Ministry said the country has been consistently pushing the North to achieve denuclearisation and peace on the Korean Peninsula through discussions. "To hold talks on beginning steps toward reconciliation suspended cross-border communication lines must be reactivated quickly to promote stable communications between the divided countries. We hope the two Koreas can resume talks on many pending issues," the ministry said in a statement.
It is worth noting that the official statement by South Korea was referring to a set of phone-and fax-like communication channels that have been suspended for more than a year. In May this year, the two rival nations briefly resumed communications over the channels but Pyongyang refused to continue after the South staged annual military drills with the United States.
Notably, North Korea carried out tests of ballistic and cruise missiles in its first such launches since March, earlier this month. According to experts, the main motive behind the ballistic and cruise missiles test was to exhibit its ability to attack key partners of the USA.
The experts noted that the relations between the two countries thrived after the South helped the North in managing high-profile nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang earlier in 2018. South Korea also arranged the much-awaited summit between Kim Jong Un and then-US President Donald Trump. However, the efforts went in vain after the North cut off ties with Seoul following disputes over the US-led sanctions in 2019.