North Korea and South Korea have reached an agreement to restore their communication channels (which are currently interrupted), the South Korean presidency announced Tuesday (July 27th) in a statement.
North Korea unilaterally cut off these official military and political channels in June 2020 after denouncing the sending of anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets to its territory by militants based in the South.
The suspension came against the backdrop of the deadlock in inter-Korean discussions, two years after the three summits that brought together North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in 2018.
The two leaders have been exchanging since April
To everyone’s surprise, the two camps, which are still technically at war, announced that all communications had been restored Tuesday morning. “In accordance with the agreement between the two most senior leaders, the North and the South have taken this step which consists of operating all the inter-Korean lines of communication again as of July 27, 10 a.m.”, reports the official North Korean agency KCNA.
The two leaders have exchanged personal letters since April intended to improve relations, the South Korean presidency said in a statement, and they decided as a first step to restore communications.
Mr. Moon was one of the main architects of the 2018 inter-Korean rapprochement, which took place in the context of the Pyeongchang Olympics. This was followed by the first summit in history between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president, in this case Donald Trump. This first meeting took place in June 2018 in Singapore and was followed by two other interviews between MM. Kim and Trump.
The inter-Korean process and negotiations over the nuclear and ballistic programs in the North have stalled since the February 2019 Kim-Trump summit fiasco in Hanoi.