New York: South and North Korea have restored their once-severed hotlines as part of efforts by the two countries’ leaders to rebuild strained ties, Seoul’s presidential Blue House said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have exchanged multiple letters since April and agreed to reconnect the hotlines, said Moon’s press secretary, Park Soo-hyun.
North Korea’s state media outlet, KCNA, also said all inter-Korean communication channels were resumed operation at 10 am on July 27 (0100 GMT) in line with an agreement between Moon and Kim.
“The two leaders have explored ways to recover relations by exchanging letters on several occasions, and agreed to restore severed hotlines as a first step for that process,” Park said in a statement. “They have also agreed to regain trust as soon as possible and foster progress on relations again.”
North Korea cut the hotlines in June 2020 as cross-border ties soured after a failed second summit in February 2019 between Kim and former US President Donald Trump, which Moon had offered to mediate.
The announcement came as the two Koreas marked the 68th anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.