Two Koreas open hotline between leaders, Seoul says

A South Korean soldier stands guard before a United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission meeting hut in the truce village of Panmunjom within the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea. (AFP)
Updated 20 April 2018
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Two Koreas open hotline between leaders, Seoul says

SEOUL: The two Koreas opened a hotline between their leaders Friday, Seoul’s presidential office said, a week before a summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in the Demilitarized Zone.
The line links the presidential Blue House in Seoul with the Pyongyang office of the nuclear-armed North’s State Affairs Commission, which Kim chairs — one of his most important titles.
“The historic connection of the hotline between the leaders of the two Koreas has just been established,” said senior Blue House official Youn Kun-young, adding that a test conversation between officials lasted 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
It is the latest step in a whirlwind of diplomacy on and around the Korean peninsula, triggered by the Winter Olympics in the South.
Moon and Kim are due to meet on Friday on the southern side of the DMZ, in what will be only the third inter-Korean summit since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving them technically still in a state of conflict.
Seoul is pushing for a declaration that the war is over as a prelude to the signed of a treaty, with Moon declaring Thursday it was a goal that “must be pursued.”
US President Donald Trump, who is expected to hold his own much-anticipated summit with Kim later, previously offered his “blessing” for the two Koreas to discuss a treaty.


Five metro stations closed in Ukraine capital after bomb warning

Updated 1 min 2 sec ago
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Five metro stations closed in Ukraine capital after bomb warning

KIEV: Kiev has closed five subway stations, mostly in the central part of the Ukrainian capital, after a bomb warning, the subway operator said in a statement.
"The stations are closed to passengers and checks are being carried out," it said on Facebook.
Kiev is hosting the UEFA Champions League final later on Saturday in which Liverpool will play Real Madrid.