Two Koreas Hold First Talks After North Korea Restores Hotlines Following Months-Long Radio Silence

© AP Photo / Park Tae-hyunA South Korean government official makes a phone calls to North Korea via the dedicated communications hotline as South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young, right, watches during a visit to Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020
A South Korean government official makes a phone calls to North Korea via the dedicated communications hotline as South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young, right, watches during a visit to Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.10.2021
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North Korean officials have said that restoration work on communications hotlines will begin on Monday, at 9:00 a.m., local time.
In an announcement relayed by state media, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un revealed on Monday that severed communications hotlines between North Korea and South Korea will again be restored.
According to a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) release, North Korea's move comes "as part of efforts to realise the expectation and desire of the entire nation for early recovery of the present inter-Korean relations and settlement of durable peace on the Korean Peninsula".
Within hours of the announcement, North Korean officials were able to confirm their first liaison call with their Southern counterparts, per a Yonhap News report. The outlet also reported that Seoul is maintaining an optimistic outlook regarding the prospect of inter-Korean talks.

The KCNA release emphasised that Seoul and its authorities should "keep in mind the meaning of reopening of the communication lines and make active efforts to solve pending issues for saving inter-Korean relations and opening its bright prospect".

Last week, the North Korean leader expressed support for activating the hotlines, which have remained offline for several months.

At the time, Kim noted that the move would allow leaders to see the "recovery of the [N]orth-[S]outh relations from the present deadlock and durable peace settling in the Korean Peninsula".

Pyongyang's vocal support was matched by South Korea's Unification Ministry, which previously called on North Korea to restore the hotlines connecting the two countries.
North Korean officials initially cut the communications line in June 2020, after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea contended that South Korea had failed to block activists from distributing airborne anti-North Korea leaflets.
The two countries were reportedly in agreement about improving communications lines when they were restored in July. Pyongyang took the hotlines offline again after just a few weeks.
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