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(LEAD) Koreas reopen severed cross-border hotline: Cheong Wa Dae

North Korea 11:53 July 27, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with details from 4th para; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) -- The two Koreas on Tuesday reopened direct cross-border communication lines that Pyongyang severed last year in protest of propaganda leaflets coming in from the South, Cheong Wa Dae announced, a positive sign for an improvement in the inter-Korean relationship.

Park Soo-hyun, senior Cheong Wa Dae secretary for public communication, announced that Seoul and Pyongyang decided to resume communications via their direct hotline starting at 10 a.m.

The resumption of inter-Korean communications was a result of an agreement between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Cheong Wa Dae explained.

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

The two leaders have exchanged personal letters on multiple occasions since April for the resumption and shared views on issues of advancing inter-Korean reconciliation, Park said.

"The two leaders of the South and the North also shared an understanding to recover mutual trust and again push the countries' relationship forward," he added.

The move came 13 months after North Korea cut off all communication lines with South Korea in protest over Seoul's supposed failure to stop activists from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the communist nation.

This file photo shows South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shaking hands before their summit talks at the headquarters of the North's Workers' Party Central Committee in Pyongyang on Sept. 18, 2018. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)


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