North Korea and South Korea restored communication channels this Tuesday morning (27), Monday evening (26), in Brazil, a little over a year after the total interruption of the dialogue. The leaders of the two countries agreed to restore confidence and improve relations, according to the southern government.
Even with the communications cut, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un have exchanged several letters since April, according to the Seoul government. On Tuesday, they communicated through one of the reconstituted lines.
According to NK News, Casa Azul (South Korean government executive) did not specify which communication channel was restored. There are 48 known hotlines between the two countries, 9 of which are for military use only.
Moon had called for the resumption of communications and negotiations, basing hopes on US President Joe Biden to resume talks aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
The cut of all communication channels, especially military, took place at the initiative of the northern regime, in June of last year. The move came after defectors sent propaganda pamphlets against Pyongyang across the two countries’ borders into North Korea.
The document criticized the human rights regime and the North’s nuclear ambitions, criticizing Seoul for not having hindered the action of opponents. North Korea ended most of its contacts with the South after the failed summit between Kim and then-US President Donald Trump in Hanoi in 2019, which left negotiations over the North’s nuclear program. Korean stalled.
The shutdown of communication channels, however, was not quite literal. “It’s not that they physically cut the line and are reconnecting now,” Cha Du-hyeogn, a Korean-US relations expert at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, told NK News. “They weren’t responding over the existing line.”