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North Korea and South Korea to reopen communication channel

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By Mark Armstrong
North and South Korea agree to reopen communications hotline
North and South Korea agree to reopen communications hotline

North Korea has confirmed that it will re-open a cross-border communication channel with South Korea. The move comes after Seoul's offer on Tuesday to talk to Pyongyang over ways in which the two states could cooperate on the Winter Olympic games, due to take place the South later this year.

 "In accordance with the will of our leadership, we will closely communicate with South Korea in a sincere and careful manner and discuss practical matters regarding sending our delegation (to the Pyeongchang Olympics)," said Ri Son Gwon, Chairman of the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification.

The two countries planned to restore the communication channel late on Wednesday.

North Korea's response was greeted postively by Baik Tae-hyun, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesperson

"(The South Korean) government welcomes North Korea's response to yesterday's offer to restore the Panmunjom communication channel. We will discuss practical affairs regarding yesterday's offer to hold South and North Korea talks."

Although the development is a positive sign that the Koreas are working toward improved ties, there's no guarantee that tensions will ease.

There have been repeated attempts in recent years by the rivals to talk, but meetings have often ended in recriminations or stalemate.