North Korea has returned its staff to an inter-Korean liaison office, Seoul said Monday, just days after unilaterally withdrawing from the joint facility. The office in the Northern city of Kaesong was opened in September as the two Koreas knitted closer ties, but the North pulled its staff out last week amid a deadlock in talks between Washington and Pyongyang. The unification ministry said some of the North Korean staff were back at work on Monday saying they had come to cover their “shift as usual”. “Thus, the South and the North held consultation at the liaison office this morning and will continue to operate the office as usual,” the ministry said in a statement. It said the North did not offer details on why they had returned or pulled out in the first place. South Korean President Moon Jae-in was instrumental in brokering the talks process between the nuclear-armed, sanctions-hit North and the US, Seoul’s key security ally. Moon has long backed engagement with the North to bring it to the negotiating table, and has been pushing the carrot of inter-Korean development projects, among them an industrial zone also in Kaesong and cross-border tourism for Southerners.Published in Daily Times, March 26th 2019.