S.Korea restores hotlines with N.Korea

The South Korean government has announced that its communication channels with North Korea have been restored. The cross-border hotlines were cut in August.

The South's Unification Ministry says the channels were reactivated at 9 a.m. on Monday. It welcomed the step as building a foundation for better inter-Korean ties.

The ministry called on Pyongyang to swiftly resume dialogue and advance discussions to consolidate peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The channels had been restored in July for the first time in one year and a month. But only two weeks later, the North cut them off, apparently out of frustration over US-South Korea joint drills.

Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had expressed his intention to restore them in early October. Kim told the parliament that this would be part of the efforts to realize the people's expectations for lasting peace on the peninsula.

North Korea's state-run media also urged Seoul on Monday to make positive efforts to put inter-Korean ties back on track and settle important issues to open up bright prospects for the future.

The hotlines' restoration follows North Korea's launches of what appear to be new types of missiles last month, making clear that it will continue to pursue its missile development.

Observers say it appears that Pyongyang is combining missile tests and conciliatory approaches to get concessions from the United States and South Korea.