North Korean and South Korean liaison officials exchanged messages via a cross-border communication channel on Monday morning. The hotline has been restored.
The reintroduction of the Inter-Korean hotline came three days after North Korea reported that it had tested newly developed anti-aircraft missile.
Communication channels have been blocked for over a year. North Korea and South Korea briefly resumed communication via the hotline for about two weeks this summer, but Pyongyang later refused to exchange messages when Seoul held an annual military exercise with Washington.
Seoul’s defense ministry said in a press release that the hotline contributed to preventing unexpected clashes. The ministry also expressed the hope that its restart would significantly ease military tensions.
The unification ministry responsible for inter-Korean affairs, for its part, expressed the hope that it would soon be able to resume dialogue on how to restore relations and strengthen peace.
North Korea resumed missile testing after a six-month hiatus, but continued to offer conditional talks with Seoul, which some experts say is an attempt to obtain external concessions.
Main photo source: JEON HEON-KYUN / PAP / EPA