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South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2018. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

Why it matters: The resumption of the hotline on Tuesday comes despite stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea, which broke down after a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal in 2019.

Details: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim agreed to "restore mutual confidence and develop their relationships again as soon as possible," South Korea's Blue House spokesperson Park Soo Hyun said in a televised briefing, per AP.

  • This followed an exchange of letters between the two leaders that began in April.

What they're saying: Pyongyang's state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a statement that "the whole Korean nation desires to see the North-South relations recovered from setback and stagnation as early as possible."

  • "In this regard, the top leaders of the north and the south agreed to make a big stride in recovering the mutual trust and promoting reconciliation by restoring the cutoff inter-Korean communication liaison lines through the recent several exchanges of personal letters," the statement added.

Flashback: In June last year, North Korea cut the hotline, resumed military exercises, reestablished guard posts near the border and demolished an inter-Korean liaison office.

Of note: President Biden and Moon both reaffirmed the importance of North Korea's denuclearization when they met in May.

  • Biden has pledged to pursue "a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy" with North Korea​.
  • The U.S. president last month extended for another year a long-standing old executive order declaring a national emergency over the nuclear threat North Korea poses.

Go deeper... South Korean president: Trump "beat around the bush and failed" on North Korea

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Oct 25, 2021 - Axios Tampa Bay

Jenn Thai's last meal

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo courtesy Jenn Thai

Jenn Thai is tackling Tampa Bay one forkful at a time.

  • When she's not posting mouth-watering pics on Instagram or her blog, Thai is a social media specialist for Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

We wanted to know what the Best of the Bay 2020 and 2019 winner for Best Food Blogger would eat if she had one meal left.

14 mins ago - World

Putin is challenging Ukraine's "right to exist," Blinken says

Blinken (L) speaks in Berlin on Thursday. Photo: Kay Nietfeld - Pool/Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken put the stakes of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in stark terms on Thursday, saying Vladimir Putin's threat is a direct challenge to Ukraine's "right to exist" as an independent country and a democracy.

What he's saying: “There’s been a lot of speculation about President Putin’s true intentions, but we don’t actually have to guess. He’s told us, repeatedly. He’s laying the groundwork for an invasion because he doesn’t believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation," Blinken said during a speech in Berlin.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Jared Kushner wants to Trump-proof his private equity future

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Jared Kushner appears to have convinced the private equity market that he'll stick with his new firm, called Affinity Partners, even if his father-in-law returns to the White House.

The big picture: Private equity is littered with former presidential advisers and cabinet officials, and Trump's is proving to be no different.