Two Koreas restore severed communications

SEOUL (AFP) – North and South Korea signalled a surprise thaw in relations yesterday, announcing the restoration of cross-border communications that were severed more than a year ago and an agreement between their two leaders to improve ties.

The joint announcement, which coincided with the anniversary of the end of the Korean War, was the first positive development since a series of summits between the North’s Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in 2018 failed to achieve any significant breakthrough.

The two sides revealed that Kim and Moon had exchanged a series of letters since April in which they agreed that re-establishing hotlines would be a productive first step in re-booting relations between the two rivals.

File photo shows a South Korean government official communicating with a North Korean officer during a phone call. PHOTO: AP