President Moon Jae-in's new national security team, reshuffled amid renewed tensions with North Korea, began official work on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Moon presented letters of appointment to Unification Minister Lee In-young and Park Jie-won, who has been newly appointed to lead the National Intelligence Service.
President Moon expressed confidence in them, saying Lee and Park will definitely carry out the historic tasks given to them.
To this, Lee said he will exert his utmost efforts to establish peace on the Korean peninsula before Moon finishes his term.
Park said he will make sure to revive the spirit of dialogue between the two Koreas and revamp the organization.
Im Jong-seok, former presidential chief of staff, who has been newly named as a special adviser for diplomatic and security affairs also began his new work on facilitating inter-Korean cooperation.
"We can only make decisions on our own on issues when there are more areas the two Koreas can do on their own and trust is rebuilt."
Pundits expect inter-Korean exchanges on humanitarian issues could be agreed soon if necessary conditions are met, as Minister Lee has also stressed the importance of negotiations with Pyeongyang.
The North Korean regime, however, has yet to respond to the suggestions made by Seoul on inter-Korean cooperation projects.
While all eyes are on when the South Korean government will engage in full-fledged dialogue with the North, it's left to be seen how the latest return of a defector back to North Korea and the COVID-19 situation in the North will affect the inter-Korean relations going forward.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.