Home » North and South Korea restore severed cross-border hotline

North and South Korea restore severed cross-border hotline

Breakthrough comes following exchange of letters between leaders in Seoul and Pyongyang.

South and North Korea have restored cross-border communications, just over a year since the hotline was cut off, as the two countries look to rebuild trust, South Korea’s presidential Blue House said on Tuesday.

North Korea’s state media outlet, KCNA, also said all inter-Korean communication channels were reopened at 10am on Tuesday (01:00 GMT) in line with an agreement between the countries’ two leaders.

The announcement comes 13 months after Pyongyang shut down all communication in protest over Seoul’s supposed failure to stop activists from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the border.

The latest thaw follows what the Blue House said was “active communication” between the two sides with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanging a number of letters since April this year.

North Korea cut the hotline in June 2020 as cross-border ties soured after a failed second summit in February 2019 between Kim and Donald Trump, who was then president of the United States.

Moon has called for a recovery of the hotline and talks, amid hopes Joe Biden, who took over as US president in January, will restart negotiations aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

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