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Two Koreas reopen cross-border communication lines Updated: 2021-07-27 10:55:22 KST

We start with the big breaking news.
Within the past couple of hours, South and North Korea have reopened their cross-border communication line some 13 months after North Korea unilaterally severed it.
We have our senior Blue House correspondent Kim Min-ji on the line.
Min-ji, this is potentially a big step forward in South-North relations.

Right Mark. The Blue House held a briefing about an hour ago saying that the leaders of the two Koreas agreed to reopen the cross-border communication line.
The senior secretary for public communication said that the leaders had exchanged multiple letters since April regarding restoring relations between the two Koreas.
Take a listen.

"The leaders of South and North Korea have exchanged personal letters on multiple occasions since April regarding the restoration of relations, and in the process agreed to reopen the severed communication lines. We hope that the restoration of communication lines has a positive impact on the development of inter-Korean relations going forward."

Just to give you a recap, North Korea in June last year severed communication lines with South Korea and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in protest against propaganda leaflets coming in from the South.
The Blue House says that the leaders shared an understanding on the need to develop inter-Korean relations and restore mutual trust at an early date.

Separately, North Korea said that the restoration of the communication lines will play a positive role in improving relations.
The North's Korean Central News Agency said that the whole Korean nation desires to see inter-Korean relations recover from the setbacks and stagnation as early as possible.
The two sides had test calls this morning and also agreed to hold daily phone calls in the morning and afternoon like they did before.

Coincidence maybe, but today marks the 68th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement a battlefield truce that temporarily halted combat during the 1950-53 Korean War.
The move is expected to give President Moon Jae-in some room to get his peace initiative going again with just about 10 months left in office.
That's all I have for this hour. Back to you Mark.
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