North, South Korea Reopen Communication Hotlines in a Bid to 'Rebuild Trust'

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In a bid to repair their relations, North Korea and South Korea have restored the hotlines that the former's administration had cut off a year ago, South Korea's Blue House said on Tuesday, 27 July, BBC reported.

All inter-Korean communication channels resumed operations at 10 am local time on Tuesday, news agency Reuters reported.

Capital city Seoul's ministry of defence said that a military hotline was successfully tested on the same day, and that regular communication – twice daily – would be restored, in accordance with the administrations' agreement.

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North Korea had severed its military and political communication channels with South Korea in June last year, after relations between the countries had taken a turn for the worse following a failed summit between the North Korean president and former US president Donald Trump – which had been mediated by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

President Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have exchanged multiple letters since April and have agreed to reconnect the hotlines, said Moon's press secretary, Park Soo-hyun.

"The two leaders have explored ways to recover relations by exchanging letters on several occasions, and agreed to restore severed hotlines as a first step for that process," Park Soo-hyun said in a statement, adding that the two leaders hope to rebuild trust and improve their relations, Reuters reported.

According to a BBC report, North Korea's state media outlet KCNA, hailing the the reinstatement of the hotlines, stated that the move was 'a big stride in recovering the mutual trust and promoting reconciliation'.

(With inputs from BBC and Reuters)

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