North and South Korea open joint liaison office near border


A liaison office for North and South Korea near their border was opened on Friday, local media reported, a move that Seoul hopes will lead to permanent communication between the rival countries.

The office was launched in Kaesong, the North Korean border town of approximately 50 people from each country attending the opening ceremony, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

20 officials from each side will be stationed at the office, which is also intended to encourage civilian contact.

The office is part of the agreement that was reached between the two leaders at a meeting in April. It had originally been expected to open last month, but according to South Korean media reports, the date was pushed back due to worries in Washington that the reinstatement of ties between Pyongyang and Seoul was moving faster than talks on denuclearization.

The US has also been concerned that Moscow is pressing hard for sanctions against Pyongyang to be lifted.

The United States’ ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, expressed disappointment on Thursday over changes to an independent report on the sanctions, downplaying alleged violations by North Korea that also involved Russian firms.

The United Nation’s most important body, the Security Council, is set to tackle the issue of sanctions against North Korea in an emergency meeting on Monday, a US spokesman told Russia’s TASS news agency.

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