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North Korea will restore serious communication with South Korea: report

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Both sides had said on July 27 this year that all lines have been restored. (file)

Seoul:

The official KCNA news agency reported that North Korea would restore cross-border communications with its southern counterpart in August.

The decision comes just days after Pyongyang sparked international concern with a series of missile tests in the space of a few weeks. The tests prompted the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting.

The two Koreas signaled a surprise thaw in relations by announcing the resumption of cross-border communications in late July, which ended more than a year ago.

But the captives were short-lived, as North Korea stopped responding to calls only two weeks later.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “expressed his intention to cut north-south communication lines,” KCNA said early Monday, reporting the move was an attempt to establish “lasting peace” on the Korean peninsula.

“The concerned organs have decided to restore all north-south communication lines from 9:00 a.m. on October 4,” the KCNA said.

Pyongyang unilaterally cut all official military and political communication links in June last year after activists sent anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

Both sides had said on July 27 this year that all lines have been restored.

Their joint declaration, which coincided with the anniversary of the end of the Korean War, was the first positive development since a series of summits between Kim and South’s President Moon Jae-in in 2018 that have achieved any significant breakthrough. have failed.

Seoul’s unification ministry said the leaders had the first call the same morning, with the defense ministry saying the military hotline was also back to normal operation.

The two sides also revealed at the time that Kim and Moon had exchanged a series of letters since April in which they agreed that re-establishing the hotline was a productive one in resuming relations between the two rivals. The first move would be, despite their late 1950-53 conflict, technically remain at war.

But the cross-border communication lasted just two weeks. The North began to ignore the call in August, taking issue with joint US-South Korean military exercises.

In this period, the North – which had recently been spending its time since a change in US administration in January – conducted a series of tension-heavy missile tests.

In September, it tested what it said was a long-range cruise missile, and earlier this week it tested what it described as a hypersonic gliding vehicle, which the South Korean military said appeared to be in an early stage of development. Is.

On Friday it said it had successfully fired a new anti-aircraft missile.

Pyongyang on Sunday criticized the UN Security Council for calling an emergency meeting on missile tests and accused member states of playing with “time-bombs”.

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