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(LEAD) N. Korea reopens disconnected inter-Korean military hotline

All News 18:36 January 09, 2018

(ATTN: CLARIFIES headline, lead: ADDS more details throughout)

PANMUNJOM, Korea, Jan. 9 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- North Korea reopened a disconnected military hotline with the South on Tuesday as the two Koreas held high-level talks to discuss the North's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and ways to improve their ties.

The North notified the South that it reconnected the hotline on the west coast earlier in the day, according to a South Korean government official. The line will be operating normally starting 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, the government said.

North Korea severed a border communication channel and the military hotline in February 2016 in protest at Seoul's shutdown of a joint industrial complex.

The military hotline was previously used to notify the North of information regarding South Koreans moving in and out of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, just north of the inter-Korean border.

The move indicates that the North may seek to send its delegation to the Winter Games by land.

If the land route across the heavily guarded border is chosen, there should be consultation between the military authorities of the two Koreas.

The North restored the border hotline at the shared border village of Panmunjom last week after its leader Kim Jong-un extended a rare rapprochement to Seoul.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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