South and North Korea reopen communication channels | free press


Relations between South and North Korea have not taken off for a long time. Now there are clear signs of rapprochement again.

Seoul (dpa) – South and North Korea have restored their direct connecting channels after a month-long hiatus. The two countries announced on Tuesday the 68th anniversary of the signing of the ceasefire agreement to end the Korean War.

South Korean President Moon Jae In has been exchanging personal letters with North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un since April, according to his office. They also agreed to restore communication links. The move will help improve bilateral relations.

Blocked communication since June 2020

North Korea unilaterally cut all communication channels between the governments and military in both countries in June last year. The communist government in Pyongyang responded to propaganda campaigns by conservative South Korean activists and North Korean refugees at the border against the leadership in North Korea. Seoul was accused of not taking any action against the actions.

The hotline between the presidential office in Seoul and the office of the North Korean ruler was also affected by the North Korean measure. North Korea also later blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in the border town of Kaesong.

North Korean state media speak of reconciliation

All Koreans wanted bilateral relations to recover “as soon as possible” from the setbacks, North Korean state media said Tuesday. The top leaders had agreed to restore mutual trust and promote reconciliation by “restoring separate lines of communication between Korea”.

North Korea is internationally isolated because of its nuclear weapons program. As a result of the failed summit between Kim Jong Un and former US President Donald Trump in Vietnam in February 2019, inter-Korean relations also ground to a halt. Trump and Kim could not agree on a roadmap for the disarmament of the North Korean nuclear program, nor on US consideration.