S. Korea, DPRK start normal operation of military hotline
South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday started a normal operation of military hotline for direct dialogue between the military authorities.
Head of North Korean delegation Ri Son Gwon, Chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (CPRC) of DPRK, is greeted by a South Korean official as he crosses a concrete border to attend their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, January 9, 2018. [Photo: VCG]
Seoul's defense ministry was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying the two Koreas test-communicated via the restored military hotline for five minutes from 8:00 a.m. local time (2300 GMT Tuesday).
There has been no special discussion during the test-communications, according to the ministry.
South Korea confirmed the DPRK's restoration of the cross-border military communication channel in the western region after it was informed of the restoration during the Tuesday inter-Korean dialogue.
The communications channel between the two Koreas in the liaison office of Panmunjom, which straddles the inter-Korean land border, was already reopened last week.
The two channels for direct dialogue between governments and military authorities of the two Koreas were severed in February 2016 as South Korea unilaterally shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex in response to Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in the previous month.
The inter-Korean industrial zone in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong was the last remaining symbol of the inter-Korean economic cooperation, housing over 120 South Korean companies and hiring over 50,000 DPRK workers.
After the first inter-Korean talks in about two years Tuesday, South Korea and the DPRK agreed to hold a dialogue on military affairs without elaborating on when to hold it.