SEOUL, South and North Koreas are in close and continuous dialogue, an official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae confirmed Tuesday, apparently to fine-tune their methods of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula ahead of a historic U.S.-North Korea summit.
The confirmation came amid growing suspicions over an apparent delay in a telephone conversation between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The two Koreas established a communication hotline between their leaders just before they met for a third inter-Korean summit on April 27.
"Working-level talks continue to be held, partly to arrange high-level talks, and also the call that you mentioned," the Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters when asked if the divided Koreas were holding any meaningful dialogue.
"Of course dialogue should be viewed as being held continuously. We are just not briefing you about it," the official added.
The new hotline has yet to be used by the leaders though Cheong Wa Dae officials earlier said the leaders of the two Koreas would likely hold their first telephone conversation when the date and location of the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit are released.
U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that his meeting with Kim will take place in Singapore on June 12.
A second Cheong Wa Dae official said the call between Moon and Kim may still take place this week, before the South Korean leader visits Washington to discuss the potential outcome of the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit with his U.S. counterpart.
Moon is set to hold a bilateral summit with Trump next Tuesday (U.S. time).
The call between Moon and the North Korean leader, if made, will likely be aimed at reaffirming Kim's commitment to denuclearization, which he initially confirmed in the historic inter-Korean summit last month, Cheong Wa Dae officials noted.
Seoul has also proposed holding a high-level dialogue with North Korea this week.
His U.S. trip, likewise, will be aimed at telling Trump what to expect, as well as what not to expect, from his upcoming dialogue with Kim.
Source: Yonhap News Agency