Koreas restore communication channels, agree to improve ties

The South Korean announcement was quickly confirmed by the North Korean state media.According to the Korean Central News Agency, the entire Korean nation wants the North-South relationship to be restored from stagnation and setback as soon as possible. The top leaders of both the North and South have agreed to take a major step in restoring mutual trust and encouraging reconciliation through the recent exchanges of personal correspondences.This photo was provided by the North Korean government. Kim Jong Un, North Korean leader, speaks at a Workers Party meeting in Pyongyang (North Korea), Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Kim opened a major conference to discuss national efforts in rescuing the economy and warned of possible food shortages. According to the official North Korean Central News Agency, Wednesday 16 June 2021. The image was distributed by the North Korean government and did not allow independent journalists to cover the event. This image's content is as it was provided. It cannot be independently verified. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP) | Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via APNorth Korea closed all communication lines with South Korea last year in protest at South Korea's inability to stop activists from distributing anti-Pyongyang leaflets along their border. Experts believe that the North Korean actions were a sign of frustration at Seoul's inability to revive lucrative inter-Korean projects and convince the United States to relax sanctions.Since early 2019, when the second summit between Kim and Donald Trump fell apart, the nuclear talks between Washington & Pyongyang have been stalled. Kim has threatened to increase his nuclear arsenal and develop more sophisticated weapons if the Americans do not lift policies that the North regards hostile, believed to be the U.S.-led sanctions.Experts have suggested that North Korea might be forced to seek out the United States and South Korea in times of economic crisis. Storm damage, mismanagement and the closure of borders during the coronavirus epidemic have all contributed to the decline in North Korea's economy. Kim has also called on his people to prepare for COVID-19 restrictions. Although his comments may have indicated a worsening economic environment, observers outside the country have not seen any signs of mass starvation and social chaos in the 26 million-strong nation.Tuesday marks the 68th year since the signing of an arms embargo that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War. Since the wars ended, the Koreas are still divided along the most heavily fortified border in the world.To deter North Korean aggression, approximately 28,500 U.S. soldiers are stationed in South Korea.