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ROK, DPRK restore communication hotlines

ROK, DPRK restore communication hotlines

This file photo shows a ROK official making a test call with the DPRK on Jan. 1, 2018, via a hotline set up at an inter-Korean liaison office in the truce village of Panmunjom. (Source: Yonhap)   

The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) restored their cross-border communication lines that had been severed for over a year, the ROK presidential Blue House said Tuesday.

The Blue House said in a statement that the two Koreas decided to resume their direct communication hotlines as of 10:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) Tuesday.

All of the inter-Korean communication lines had been severed since June last year when the DPRK cut them off in protest against Seoul's failure to stop civic activists from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the DPRK.

According to the statement, thr ROK President Moon Jae-in and top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un have exchanged personal letters several times since April to communicate about issues on restoring inter-Korean relations.

Moon and Kim agreed first to restore the severed inter-Korean communication lines, the statement noted.

The two leaders also agreed to restore mutual trust and enhance ties as early as possible.

The Blue House said the resumed inter-Korean communication lines would play a positive role in the improvement and the development of the inter-Korean relations.

Meanwhile, the military authorities of the ROK and the DPRK reopened their military communication lines and put them back to normal operations from 10:00 a.m., the ROK defense ministry said in a separate statement Tuesday.

Fixed-line phone calls through the fiber-optic cable and faxing to exchange documents are currently under a normal operation, the ministry noted.

From Tuesday afternoon, the military authorities of the two Koreas planned to restart their regular phone calls twice a day at 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. local time.

The western military hotline across the inter-Korean border worked normally, but some technical problem was found in the eastern hotline, the ministry said.

The ministry said the restored hotline would substantially contribute to the defused military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.


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