Inter-Korean military hotline at West Sea reconnected
The two Koreas have revived a military hotline near the West Sea on this Friday taking a step closer to reopening the shuttered inter-Korean Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
The revival comes a day after the South and North Korean sides of the Inter-Korean Joint Committee on the Gaeseong Complex met to resolve communication issues surrounding the joint business zone.
South Korea had strongly demanded the hotline be reconnected as one of the preconditions for resuming operations at Gaeseong, as it was the only 24-hour communication channel between the two Koreas that could guarantee the safety of the South Koreans working at Gaeseong.
"The West Sea military hotline is necessary for entrance control at Gaeseong. It s also critical when dealing with unexpected emergency situations there."
The line was cut unilaterally by North Korea back in March in protest against the annual South Korea-U.S. joint military drill called Key Resolve.
With the reconnection of the hotline, facility checks and other final preparations needed to reopen the complex are also expected to pick up pace.
Officials say the complex will likely be up and running again soon, possibly before Korea's fall harvest holiday, Chuseok, later this month.
The two Koreas will meet again next Tuesday for the second inter-Korean committee meeting, where they will discuss the additional steps they'll have to take before reopening the shuttered complex.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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