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S.Korean NSC discusses ways of reopening talks with North

Seoul, Oct 7 (IANS) Top security officials held a National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Thursday and discussed ways of reopening stalled dialogue with North Korea after the recent restoration of cross-border communications after a near two-month suspension.

On Monday, the North reopened the cross-border hotlines, 55 days after the North began refusing to answer South Korea's calls in protest of an annual combined military exercise between the South and the US, reports Yonhap News Agency.

In Thursday's NSC meeting, led by National Security Office Director Suh Hoon, top security officials discussed efforts to re-engage with the North in light of the restoration of cross-border communications.

They assessed positively the fact that direct military and government hotlines between the two Koreas were operating as normal since their restoration this week, and stressed the importance of maintaining stability in the political situation related to Pyongyang and preventing a build-up of military tensions.

The officials agreed to closely review latest developments on the North while strengthening communications and cooperation with related nations.

They also agreed to strengthen "practical cooperation" with Japan to develop a "future-oriented" relationship and promote co-prosperity with Tokyo following the inauguration of new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.