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Two Koreas restore cross-border communication lines following letter exchanges between leaders Updated: 2021-07-28 09:59:18 KST

South and North Korea have restored key cross-border communication lines some 13 months after Pyeongyang unilaterally severed them.
The Blue House said Tuesday that the leaders of the two Koreas had exchanged multiple letters since April in which they discussed restoring relations.

"The leaders of South and North Korea have exchanged personal letters on multiple occasions since April regarding the restoration of ties, and in the process agreed to reopen the severed communication lines."

The communication lines that have been reopened are the ones overseen by the military and the unification ministry.

The two sides had test calls this morning and agreed to resume their regular phone calls twice a day.
The hotline between the leaders has yet to be restored.

The Blue House said that, in their letters, the leaders shared an understanding of the need to develop inter-Korean ties and restore mutual trust at an early date for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In June last year, North Korea cut all cross-border communication and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in protest against propaganda leaflets sent to the North by activists from the South - which it said Seoul had failed to stop.

North Korea also confirmed that the lines were restored, saying this will play a positive role in improving relations.
The North's Korean Central News Agency said that the whole Korean nation desires to see relations recover from recent setbacks and stagnation.

Coincidence maybe but the reopening came on the 68th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement the truce that halted active combat.
The move is expected to give President Moon Jae-in some room to get his peace initiative going again.
Inter-Korean relations have been at standstill since the North Korea-U.S. Summit in early 2019 that ended without a deal.

Focus will be on how much progress can be made going forward as President Moon is running short on time with less than 10 months left in office.
Options could include a summit, albeit virtually, between the two leaders.
The Blue House says such matters have not been discussed, but that it will continue to make efforts to improve relations.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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