Two Koreas Restore Communication, Agree to Improve Ties

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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in agreed in letters to restore relations, improving the prospects for a breakthrough in an extended stalemate in nuclear talks.

The two countries released what appeared to be coordinated statements Tuesday calling for reconciliation on the peninsula, with state media in Pyongyang saying they agreed “to make a big stride in recovering the mutual trust.” Both sides reopened hotlines that had been silent since a flare-up a year ago, when Kim’s regime symbolically blew up a liaison office funded by Moon’s government.

The effort to thaw relations came on the 68th anniversary of the armistice that halted fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War, a conflict that has never formally ended. Last week, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman reaffirmed President Joe Biden’s openness to talks during a visit to Seoul in which she met South Korean officials, including Moon.

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