Koreas open new military hotlines

New fibre-optic cables installed to aid communications over industrial park.

    The industrial park at border town of Kaesong is a symbol of inter-Korean co-operation [EPA]

    About 110 South Korean factories at Kaesong employ around 40,000 North Korean workers.

    "The two Koreas will be able to exchange information between cross-border personnel swiftly and more stably," a government official told the Yonhap news agency.

    Humanitarian aid

    The new hotlines replaced outdated copper cable hotlines that will remain as spare lines.

    The hotline renovations, agreed upon in 2007, were put on hold after inter-Korean relations soured following the inauguration of Lee Myung-bak, the conservative South Korean president who has maintained a tough policy towards the North.

    However, earlier this month, South Korea sent H1N1 medication to North Korea, its first humanitarian aid to the North since Lee's appointment.

    The North made a rare expression of gratitude for the aid.

    North Korea also resumed dialogue with the US after the country's nuclear envoy visited the country earlier this month in a bid to persuade the North to return to stalled international nuclear disarmament talks.

    The two Koreas are still technically at war because their 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.