North Korea reopens communication and navy hotline with South

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The reopening follows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s vow last week to restart communication in an address to the country’s rubber-stamp legislature.

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

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

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

Communications between the two countries — including key connections between the two countries’ presidential office, militaries, and spy agencies — have long been troubled.
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In June 2020, North Korea pulled out of ongoing dialogues, citing displeasure at propaganda leaflet activists were sending across the border. This July, North Korea briefly restored the communication lines — only to cut them again two weeks later.

“South Korean authority must deeply appreciate the meaning of resumption of North-South communication lines and repair the North-South relations and make active efforts to resolve important issues that are pre-requisites to opening a bright path forward,” North Korean state media reported.

South Korea called for rapprochement at the United Nations last month, with President Moon Jae-in suggesting that the two Koreas with the US, or the two Koreas with the US and China, “declare that the war on the Korean Peninsula is over” during his address to the UN’s General Assembly.

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