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South Korea, North Korea open direct phone line between two leaders

The two leaders are expected to hold a conversation before their meeting in Panmunjeom scheduled for next week

SEOUL, April 20. /TASS/. South Korea and North Korea have established a direct telephone line between the two countries’ leaders, the South Korean Unification Ministry said on Friday.

"The direct line connects the Blue House - the residence of President Moon Jae-in - and the central office of the North Korean State Council," the ministry said.

The administration said in a statement that South Korea’s technical personnel had successfully made a test call and no technical problems occurred. Then North Korea called back.

The Blue House said the two leaders would hold a conversation before their meeting in Panmunjeom scheduled for next week.

"The launch of the first hotline in the history between the leaders of two countries will contribute to further decreasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula as in the past many border conflicts had been triggered by mutual misunderstanding and the lack of emergency communication channels," the presidential administration said.

A South Korean delegation visited Pyongyang in early March and met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. During the talks an agreement was reached on holding an inter-Korean summit. The North also expressed readiness to hold talks with US President Donald Trump.

Representatives of North and South Korea agreed to hold the summit of the countries’ leaders Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in on April 27. The meeting between the North Korean and US leaders is expected to take place in May or June.