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(LEAD) N. Korea to reopen communication channel with South

2018/01/03 14:01

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(ATTN: RECASTS headline; UPDATES with more info throughout)

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Wednesday that it will reopen the suspended inter-Korean communication line later in the day after leader Kim Jong-un extended an overture toward Seoul in his New Year's Day message.

The North will open the dialogue channel at the shared border village of Panmunjom at 3:00 p.m. (Pyongyang time), according to the state-run radio station.

The announcement came a day after Seoul proposed high-level inter-Korean talks to discuss North Korea's possible participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and ways to improve ties.

"By upholding a decision by the leadership, we will make close contact with South Korea in a sincere and faithful manner," said Ri Son-gwon, the head of North Korea's agency handling inter-Korean affairs. "We will discuss working-level issues over our potential dispatch of the delegation."

   But the official did not mention whether the North would accept Seoul's dialogue offer.