North and South Korea have restored their cross-border communication, with officials exchanging their first phone call Monday after dropping them in August.
The restoration comes just days after Pyongyang carried out a string of missile tests in the span of a few weeks, prompting the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting. Sources at Pyongyang later slammed this meeting.
Seoul’s unification ministry confirmed officials from the two rivals exchanged their first phone call since August on Monday morning. The South’s defence ministry meanwhile confirmed that cross-border military communications have also resumed.
“With the restoration of the South-North communication line, the government evaluates that a foundation for recovering inter-Korean relations has been provided,” the unification ministry said in a statement. “The government hopes… to swiftly resume dialogue and begin practical discussions for recovering inter-Korean relations,” it added.
Earlier Monday North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had “expressed the intention of restoring the cut-off north-south communication lines,” North Korea’s official news agency KCNA said. They reported that the move was an attempt to establish “lasting peace” on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea had swiftly cut off all official military and political communication links in June last year over activists sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.
Their joint announcement, which coincided with the anniversary of the end of the Korean War, was the first positive development since a series of summits between Kim and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in 2018 failed to achieve any significant breakthrough.
Officials from the two sides had a first phone call that same morning, Seoul’s unification ministry said, with the defence ministry adding that military hotlines were also back to normal operation.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DECCAN HERALD
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