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Saturday January 20th, 2018 9:49AM

The Latest: Koreas reopen key communication channel

By The Associated Press
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on North Korea's decision to restore a key cross-border communication channel with rival South Korea (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

South Korea says it has begun preliminary contacts with North Korea on a reopened cross-border communication system.

The South's Unification Ministry says the two Koreas were communicating via the channel at the border village of Panmunjom on Wednesday.

The statement says officials were first trying to examine whether the communicating lines were working well.

North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un reopened the channel earlier Wednesday, a day after South Korea offered talks on how to cooperate with the North during next month's Winter Olympics in the South.

___

2:40 p.m.

South Korea says it is welcoming North Korea's decision to restore a key cross-border communication channel.

The South's Unification Ministry said Wednesday it will try to use the communication channel at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss its offer to hold high-level talks on how to cooperate with the North during next month's Winter Olympics in the South.

Seoul on Tuesday proposed the rivals meet at Panmunjom on Jan. 9, but Pyongyang hasn't responded to its offer.

The North's decision to restore the Panmunjom communication channel was announced by a senior Pyongyang official who appeared on state TV and said the decision was made by leader Kim Jong Un.

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