EPA•GETTYNorth Korea and South Korea have reopened communications for the first time since 2015
The South's Unification Ministry said the two Koreas were communicating via a radio channel at the border village of Panmunjom on Wednesday after Kim Jong-un shocked the world by saying he was “open to dialogue" with Seoul and hoped to send a team to the Winter Olympics, set to be held in Pyeongchang next month.
The Ministry’s statement said officials were trying to determine whether the communication lines between the two countries were still operational.
The two nations have not held high-level talks since December 2015 after North Korea cut off the communications channel and refused to answer calls, according to officials in Seoul.
South Korea reportedly tries to make contact with the North at least once a day.Related articles
Since high-level talks last took place Kim Jong-un’s regime has fired a whopping 47 missiles and conducted three nuclear tests.
A North Korean official announced the hotline's reopening in a televised statement on Tuesday, telling viewers: "We will discuss working-level issues over our potential dispatch of the delegation.”
South Korea has welcomed the North’s change in tone, with a presidential spokesman describing the opening of the border hotline is a “significant development”.
Kim Jong-un used his New Year address to suggest he was willing to work to bring an end the tensions on the Korean peninsula and open a dialogue with South Korea.
AFPSouth Korean Lieutenant Choi Don-Rim speaks with a North Korean officer during a phone call in 2005