Photo: the inter-Korean hotline, c. 2018. Credit: Ministry of Unification.
South Korea's Blue House 청와대, or the Office of the President, announced that on July 27 at 10 a.m. - approximately an hour ago - the two Koreas spoke on the inter-Korean hotline, reconnecting the communication channel after nearly 14 months.
On June 9, 2020, North Korea had unilaterally ceased to respond to the hotline, a week before it demolished the Kaesong Joint Liaison Office 개성 공동연락사무소 that South Korea had constructed in North Korea as a part of the inter-Korean economic cooperation project.
Foreign Ministry explained that South Korea's president Moon Jae-in 문재인 and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un 김정은 had exchanged several correspondences since April, and agreed to restore mutual trust and advance the inter-Korean relations. The restoration of the hotline was accomplished as the first step toward such efforts.
The restoration of the hotline comes on the 68th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement 정전협정 of 1953, the cease-fire that marked the fighting's end in the Korean War 한국전쟁. By restoring the inter-Korean hotline on a day that marks the end of active hostilities, the two Koreas are signaling the willingness to move forward with a dialogue. In the Panmunjeom Declaration 판문점 선언 of April 27, 2018 between Moon and Kim, the two Koreas agreed to mutually reduce arms and enter into a peace treaty that would officially end the Korean War.