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N. Korea reopens border, communications

SEOUL, March 21 (UPI) -- North Korea restored a suspended military communications channel and reopened the border for South Koreans Saturday, officials said.

The moves, which follow the conclusion of a joint U.S.-South Korean co-operative military exercise, allow for a normalized flow of traffic to a joint North-South industrial complex in the border city of Kaesong, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported.

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"The military communication line was reopened before 8 a.m., and North Korea later sent a letter of approval for border traffic by fax," Lee Jong-ju, a spokesman for South Korea's unification ministry, told reporters in Seoul.

Pyongyang's easing of the border restrictions came after the United States and South Korea wrapped up their 12-day Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills Friday, which North Korea objected to as provocative, but which Seoul and Washington maintained were purely defensive drills.

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