SEOUL, The two Koreas held working-level talks on fully restoring military communication lines Monday as part of efforts to reduce tensions and build trust, officials here said.
The first colonel-grade meeting in more than seven years began at 9:58 a.m. and ended at 11:00 a.m. It took place at the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine office in Paju, just south of the inter-Korean border.
Army Col. Cho Yong-geun led the South Korean delegation, while Col. Om Chang-nam represented the North.
Seoul's military plans to issue a statement on the outcome of the talks later in the day.
The two militaries were expected to discuss ways to completely restore western and eastern communication lines, such as telephone and fax lines designed to prevent any misunderstandings that could needlessly raise tensions or trigger accidental clashes.
The two sides opened the western communication line in 2002 and the eastern one the following year.
The western line was suspended in 2016 following Seoul's shutdown of the inter-Korean industrial complex in the border city of Kaesong, but its telephone link was restored in January ahead of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, in which the North participated. The eastern line was blocked in 2011 amid military tensions and then completely severed due to a wildfire in 2013.
The two sides were also expected to talk about reactivating a naval communication line that has remained unused for a decade and using an international commercial communication line as a channel between their naval vessels.
Source: Yonhap News Agency