SEOUL—North Korea reopened direct communication lines with South Korea, raising the prospect that the Kim Jong Un regime could be ready for engagement after a protracted period of diplomatic silence.
The cross-border phone line was activated at 10 a.m. Tuesday local time, the two Koreas said in separate announcements. Pyongyang had severed all communication with the Seoul government since June 2020, after Kim Yo Jong, the dictator’s sister, condemned South Korean activists for sending antiregime leaflets over the border.
By reopening the communication lines, Mr. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are making a “big stride” to reconcile and restore mutual trust between the two countries, North Korea’s state media said.
“The two leaders agreed to revive trust and advance the inter-Korean relationship as soon as possible,” according to a statement from South Korea’s presidential Blue House. North Korea’s announcement read similarly.
The two sides held a three-minute exchange beginning at 11:04 a.m. local time Tuesday, according to South Korea’s unification ministry. The North Koreans agreed to engage on the hotline twice a day, it added.