North and South Korea talk little to one another. It stalled when the north cut communications. Now the telephones have been put back into operation.
North and South Korea resumed communication on Monday after Pyongyang suspended them in August and caused international unrest. The South Korean Unification Ministry said officials from both countries had made their first phone call in around two months. “With the restoration of the south-north communication channels, the government believes that a basis has been created for the restoration of inter-Korean relations,” the ministry said in a statement.
The following statement came from North Korea: The head of state Kim Jong Un had “expressed the intention to restore the interrupted North-South communication channels,” said the North Korean news agency KCNA on Monday. The move is an attempt to create “lasting peace” on the Korean peninsula.
Missile tests discussed in the UN Security Council
The decision comes just days after Pyongyang sparked international concern with a series of missile tests. The tests prompted the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting.
At the end of July, the two states had signaled something like rapprochement by announcing the resumption of cross-border communication. Communication between the north and the south had previously been interrupted for a year. But the relaxation was short-lived: Less than two weeks later, North Korea stopped answering calls.
Pyongyang unilaterally cut all official military and political communications links in June last year after activists sent leaflets across the border against Pyongyang.