Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

North-South hotline reopens on Korean peninsula


The communication channel is set to be restored at the border village of Panmunjom later on Wednesday according to the North's state-run radio station.

In a New Year's Day speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that Pyongyang possessed weapons capable of striking the mainland US and insisted that the world would have to accept his country as a nuclear-armed state.

"We will wait for the North's reply in a calm manner and review the next steps", the unification ministry said Thursday after the third call.

It was a response to Kim's New Year's speech in which the young leader warned the USA that he has a nuclear button on his desk at all times.

He told reporters Friday that Japan would "take all steps necessary", including cooperating with China and Russian Federation, to step up pressure on North Korea so it will give up its nuclear weapons and missile development policies.

USA and South Korean officials decided after a phone call between Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to wait to conduct the drills until after the Olympics.

A visitor takes picture in front of ribbons wishing for the reunification of the two Koreas.

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North and South Korea have agreed to their first high-level talks in two years, with the emergence in diplomacy helped by the USA backing away from military drills.

Mr Moon ran his presidential campaign past year with the promise and goal of a "sunshine policy" towards North Korea; more open economic relations and direct negotiating to achieve peace.

China's Commerce Ministry said it would limit exports of crude oil, refined oil products, steel and other metals to North Korea, in line with tough new sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

"North Korea goes through phases of apparent dialogue and provocation but either way, North Korea is continuing its nuclear and missile development".

Despite Moon, who took office in May, being pushed into a hard-line stance by the North's repeated missile and nuclear tests, he would clearly like dialogue.

Ms Haley said at a news conference at the United Nations, however, that the U.S. "won't take any [inter-Korean] talks seriously" unless Pyongyang bans all its nuclear weapons and testing.

Commercial satellite imagery from December 25 showed a rail-mounted environment shelter had been moved away from a test stand, indicating that an engine test may be in the near future, the website said, rather than a new rocket launch suspected in recent media reports.

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