South Korea and North Korea completely restored a military hotline in the western region, allowing the military authorities of the two sides to contact through phone call and fax, Seoul's defense ministry said Tuesday.
The military communications line was completely restored Monday, marking the first restoration in about 29 months since it was cut off with the closedown of the Kaesong Industrial Complex on Feb. 11, 2016, the ministry said in a press release.
The inter-Korean factory park, in North Korea 's border town of Kaesong was unilaterally shut down by the prior South Korean government over Pyongyang's nuclear test in January 2016.
It led to the cutoff of all the inter-Korean military hotlines, including the eastern hotline that had yet to be restored.
The Seoul ministry said the complete restoration in the west region meant wired phone call and fax that were made possible between the military authorities of the two sides via fiber-optic cable as well as voice call via copper cable.
It noted that the normalized military communications were conducted as part of efforts to carry out the Panmunjom Declaration, which the leaders of the two Koreas signed after their first summit on April 27 at the border village of Panmunjom.
The defense ministry said the military hotline restoration would contribute to easing military tensions and building trust between the two Koreas, vowing to restore the eastern military hotline as early as possible.