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Thursday, October 21, 2021

North Korea restores hotline through South

SEOUL, South Korea – Despite the Kim government continuing its missile tests, North Korea on Monday restored a contact hotline with the South after a few weeks break in a small, fragile reunion step.

Seoul’s unification ministry said the two Korean liaison officers exchanged messages on an inter-border communication channel on Monday morning.

Other communication channels across the tense border are expected to be restored by the North after Monday.

Phone and fax channels – which the Liberal Democratic South and Socialist North used to set up meetings, arrange border crossings and avoid accidental clashes – have been dormant for more than a year.

In June last year, North Korea blew up a communications office and unilaterally shut down all anti-Korean communication lines with anti-regime content that people in the South blew up with balloons.

On October 10, 2011, anti-North Korean activists fired balloons at Paju, near the heavily guarded border, carrying anti-regime leaflets and a picture of Hwang Jung-yip. G-Hawan / AFP / Getty Images

Communications were briefly revived for about two weeks this summer, but North Seoul and Washington cut off communication again after they began their annual military exercises against the wishes of Pyongyang. North Korea sees the exercises as an offensive exercise. The last refrigeration of communication lasted 55 days.

According to the Seoul Unification Ministry, the reconnection of the hotline has laid the foundation for the restoration of relations between the two Koreas and stability on the Korean Peninsula. A statement from the ministry said Seoul hoped the two Koreas would begin talks soon to implement the previous cooperation agreement and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.

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Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed a desire to reactivate the media, saying he wanted to realize the aspirations of the Korean people to promote peace on the peninsula. But Kim called on Seoul to abandon its “two-pronged approach” and “hostile attitude” to North Korea’s recent missile tests and other developments, while the United States rejected the offer of dialogue.

Some experts say North Korea is trying to use South Korea’s willingness to improve relations under pressure to persuade the United States to relax economic sanctions.

Separate from the peace effort, North Korea conducted several months of missile tests that were its first weapons launch in six months. Among the weapons tested are potential nuclear-capable missiles that are within attractive distances from South Korea and Japan, allies of the United States.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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