DPRK to restore border hotline for inter-Korean dialogue
Kim Jong Un, the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), gave an order to open the border hotline at 0630 GMT on Wednesday for a discussion on inter-Korean dialogue, a DPRK official said in a statement.
Kim welcomes Seoul’s support for its peace offer, the official said, adding the talks will aim to establish formal dialogue about sending a DPRK delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.
"By upholding a decision by the leadership, we will make close contact with the Republic of Korea (ROK) in a sincere and faithful manner," said Ri Son Gwon, the head of the DPRK's agency handling inter-Korean affairs. "We will discuss working-level issues over our potential dispatch of the delegation."
However, the official did not say whether Pyongyang will accept Seoul's offer for high-level talks on Jan. 9.
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un delivers a New Year's speech, January 1, 2018. /VCG Photo‍

DPRK leader Kim Jong Un delivers a New Year's speech, January 1, 2018. /VCG Photo‍

Ri said Kim "highly appreciated and welcomed" President Moon Jae-in's support of his peace offer, and "stressed that whether inter-Korean ties can be improved totally depends on North and South Korea."
South Korea's unification ministry welcomed the DPRK's restoration of the channel, saying "We will consult with North Korea (DPRK) over working-level issues in connection to our dialogue offer through the hotline."
"The restoration of the hotline is very significant," said the ROK's chief presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan. "It creates an environment where communication will be possible at all times."
The inter-Korean communications channel has been cut off since the previous ROK government unilaterally closed down the inter-Korean industrial zone in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong following Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.
ROK on Tuesday proposed holding “a senior-level inter-governmental dialogue” between the two countries on Jan. 9 at Peace House in Panmunjom.
In response to the restoration of communication channels, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Wednesday said China hopes that all concerned parties seize the positives and meet each other half way. He added that China is willing to continue playing a constructive role in bringing the Peninsula issue back to the track of settlement through dialogue and consultation, and realizing the denuclearization of the Peninsula.