'Long Time No Talk': South Korean Official to North Korean Official

Hotlines between two countries restored
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2021 12:30 AM CDT
Updated Oct 4, 2021 12:01 AM CDT
North Korea Will Reopen Hotline With South Korea
In this Sept. 9, 2021, file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from a balcony toward the assembled troops and spectators during a celebration of the nation's 73rd anniversary at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

Update: North Korea on Monday restored its hotlines with South Korea, and communication resumed on them for the first time in almost two months. "Long time no talk. We’re very pleased because the communication channels have been restored like this. We hope that South-North relations will develop into a new level,” a Seoul official said during a phone conversation with his North Korean counterpart over one channel, according to video released by South Korea’s Unification Ministry and cited by the AP. Our original story from Sept. 30 follows:

Kim Jong Un on Wednesday ordered North Korea's hotlines with South Korea to be restored early next month after having been "largely dormant for more than a year," according to the AP. The reopening of the telephone and fax lines will be a step toward the Korean peoples' wishes for peace between the two countries, he said during a speech before parliament, though he also called on Seoul to stop its "double-dealing attitude," saying the two Koreas are at a "crossroads" between reconciliation and a "vicious cycle of confrontation." The Guardian reports he appears to be attempting to come between South Korea and the US, since he's hoping Seoul will help Pyongyang get some relief from US-led sanctions.

Kim also condemned the US desire for talks, which the Biden administration has offered to hold with no preconditions, as "nothing more than a facade to mask their deception and hostile acts and an extension of hostile policy from past administrations." In fact, he said, under Biden the US actions toward Pyongyang have only become "more cunning." He said South Korea must guarantee "mutual respect" and drop its "unfair views and double standards attitude" with regard to its relationship with the US before an official end to the Korean War can be declared. (More North Korea stories.)

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