North and South Korea agreed to restore military direct line
North and South Korea has agreed restore a direct military phone line, states South Korean authorities. Also North Korea sends athletes to the Olympic Games in South Korea.
The agreement has been reached during the talks between the two countries night before Tuesday, CET.
The line has been closed for almost two years. It is restored less than a week after a civil telephone line was taken into use on the border between the two countries.
The direct line will be fully operational from Wednesday, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reports. According to South Korea’s Vice Minister for Reunification, Chun Hae-Sung, South Korea will use the military direct line as of 8 am on Wednesday morning.
The telephone line was shut down in February 2016 when South Korea decided to close down a joint industrial zone on the border. Many North Koreans worked at the factories in the zone.
Another direct military line at the eastern border has been out of service since 2008. The connection was broken after South Korea ended a tourist program that organized trips to a mountain just off the border with North Korea. This line will not be restored due to technical issues.
North Korea sends athletes to the Olympic Games in South Korea
North Korea sends a delegation of both athletes and spectators to the Pyeongchang Olympic Games in South Korea next month.
North and South Korea held talks night before Tuesday in the first meeting between the two countries in two years. The talks were mainly about a possible North Korean participation in the Olympics.
BBC reports that the two countries have agreed that North Korea sends athletes.
It was North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un who, in his new year’s speech, first expressed a wish to send delegates to the Olympics. the South Korean authorities then responded by inviting to high-level talks.
On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that they would extend the deadline for North Korean participation until after the meeting.
One of South Korea’s delegates who participated in the talks, Chun Hae-sung, told the press that during the meeting they asked for the two countries to arrange family reunification during the Olympics. Det skriver nyhetsbyrået AFP.
Several million were separated during the war on the Korea Peninsula between 1950 and 1953. Most have never since seen family members from the other side of the border separating the two Korean states.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today