North Korea reopens communication and military hotline with South Korea

(CNN) – Lines of communication between North and South Korea have been reestablished for the first time in months, Seoul said in a statement on Monday.

The reopening follows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s promise last week to restart communication in a speech to the country’s legislature.

“North Korea has no reason to provoke or harm the South,” Kim said at the time.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a statement that North Korea had responded on the joint hotline on Monday morning. The military of the two countries have also restored their direct line along the east and west coasts, according to the South Korean Ministry of Defense.

In a message to reporters, the ministry said it hoped that increased communication would help reduce tensions on the peninsula.

Communications between the two countries, including key connections between the two countries’ presidential office, armies and spy agencies, have long been problematic.

A South Korean government official communicates with North Korea on the communications hotline in the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, on January 3, 2018.

In June 2020, North Korea withdrew from the ongoing dialogues, citing its disgust at the propaganda leaflets that activists were sending across the border. This July, North Korea briefly restored lines of communication, only to cut them again two weeks later.

“The South Korean authority must deeply appreciate the significance of the resumption of North-South lines of communication and repair North-South relations and make active efforts to solve important problems that are prerequisites for blazing a bright path forward.” , North Korean state media reported.

South Korea called for a rapprochement at the United Nations last month, and President Moon Jae-in suggested that the two Koreas with the US, or the two Koreas with the US and China, “declare that war in the Korean peninsula is over, “during his speech to the UN General Assembly.

CNN’s Gawon Bae contributed to this article.

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