North Korea reopens hotline to South to discuss Olympics朝韩关系一线牵 时间:2018-01-05 单词数:3350
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North Korea has reopened a hotline to South Korea, almost two years after it was disabled on the orders of leader Kim Jong-un.
South Korea confirmed it had received a call from the North at 15:30 local time (06:30 GMT) on Wednesday.
The North Korean leader had earlier said he was open to dialogue with Seoul and to sending a team to the Winter Olympics in the South next month.
The two nations have not held high-level talks since December 2015.
North Korea cut off the communications channel shortly afterwards, refusing to answer calls, according to officials in the South.
The initial call was brief as checks are still being carried out on the line, according to South Korean officials.
North Korea said the aim would be for the two nations to discuss the practical issues around sending a North Korean delegation to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Where is the physical line?
According to the South Korean Unification Ministry, there are a total of 33 direct lines that North and South Korea once used to communicate with each other.
This particular phone line, established in 1971, is based in Panmunjom.
The border village, in the heavily guarded demilitarised zone (DMZ), is where the Koreas have historically held talks.。
Why have the Olympics become so important?
In a New Year’s Day speech, Mr Kim spoke of lowering tensions and of melting "frozen North-South relations".
He said attending the Games would be "a good opportunity to show unity of the people" in North Korea.
South Korea had already indicated that the North’s participation in the Games would be welcomed.
What does China say?
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the North and South should seize the Olympics as an opportunity to ease their relationship.
"All relevant sides should grab hold of this positive trend in the Korean peninsula and move in the same direction," Mr Geng told a daily news briefing in Beijing, according to Reuters news agency.
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