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(LEAD) Two Koreas hold daily liaison, military calls after restoring communication lines

Defense 17:46 October 05, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with afternoon call in 4th para)

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- South and North Korea held daily phone calls via their liaison and military hotlines Tuesday, officials said, a day after Pyongyang restored the inter-Korean communication channels.

On Monday, the two Koreas reopened the cross-border communication lines following a near two-month suspension. The move came hours after the North's state media announced that the lines would be back in normal operation as of 9 a.m. on the day.

"South and North Korea's daily call at 9 a.m. took place normally via the inter-Korean liaison office," a unification ministry official said.

The two Koreas also held a phone call through the inter-Korean liaison line at 5 p.m. as scheduled, the ministry said later in the day.

The defense ministry also said both of their direct military communication lines -- the eastern and western hotlines -- as well as their call via ship-to-ship radio links that use the global merchant marine communication network operated normally.

The resumption of daily calls came 55 days after the North began refusing to answer South Korea's calls in protest of an annual combined military exercise between the South and the United States.

The North has long denounced the allies' annual military exercise as a rehearsal for invasion.

A South Korean officer makes a test call with North Korea via a hotline set up between the militaries of the two Koreas on Oct. 4, 2021, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. The Koreas restored their direct communication lines on the same day after 55 days of suspension. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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