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N. Korea says all inter-Korean hotlines to be restored starting at 9 a.m. Monday

North Korea 06:37 October 04, 2021

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Monday that it will reactivate all of its communication lines with South Korea later in the day.

It urged Seoul to make "positive" efforts as well to put inter-Korean relations back on track.

The announcement came days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed an intention during a major policy speech to restore the severed hotlines in early October as part of efforts to improve inter-Korean relations.

"The relevant organs decided to restore all the north-south communication lines from 9:00 on Oct. 4 true to his intention," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

"The South Korean authorities should make positive efforts to put the North-South ties on a right track and settle the important tasks which must be prioritized to open up the bright prospect in the future, bearing deep in mind the meaning of the restoration of communication lines," it added.

The North's leader told a session of the rubber-stamp parliament last week that he will restore cross-border communication lines from early October as part of efforts "to realize the expectation and desire of the entire nation who want the North-South relations to be restored as soon as possible and lasting peace to be settled on the Korean Peninsula."

North Korea blew up the liaison office in its border town of Kaesong and unilaterally cut off all inter-Korean communication lines in June last year in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent from the South.

The hotlines were back in operation in late July, but the North has refused to respond to Seoul's regular calls again since August in protest at the plan by South Korea and the United States to stage their joint military drills as scheduled. The North has long denounced the allies' annual military exercise as a rehearsal for invasion.


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