S Korea, DPRK restore communication hotline at border village

19:01, January 12, 2011      

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South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday restored a hotline at their truce village, nearly eight months after the latter unilaterally cut it off in protest, the unification ministry said.

The two sides spoke to each other for ten minutes via the restored Red Cross communication channel at the border village of Panmunjom, the unification ministry said.

The DPRK authorities offered to revive the line earlier in the day and asked the South Korean counterparts to go through a technical examination, according to the ministry.

The DPRK severed the hotline after South Korea blamed it for the fatal sinking of a South Korean warship last March and suspended in May nearly all cross-border exchanges as part of punitive measures against Pyongyang despite its repeated denial of involvement.

The restoration marks the latest in a recent series of apparent peace overtures from Pyongyang, which called for inter-Korean talks in the near future. The South Korean government has so far played down such proposals as insincere.

Source: Xinhua

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