North Korea reopens hotlines with the South

North Korea restored the severed hotlines with the South on Monday, but it also urged Seoul to step up efforts to improve relations.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un opened the possibility of reactivating the hotlines last week.

They had been severed since early August, when Pyongyang cut them off in protest against joint U.S.-South Korea military drills.

Kim also urged Seoul and Washington to drop their quote "double standards" over weapons development, and accused the U.S. of keeping up its "hostile policy" while also proposing denuclearization talks.

North Korea has fired a series of projectiles in recent weeks, including a never-before-seen hypersonic missile and an anti-aircraft missile.

Pyongyang maintains that these tests are meant to improve its self-defense just as others do.

The launches highlight the isolated country's ongoing development of increasingly sophisticated weapons as denuclearization talks with the U.S. have stalled.

The Biden administration has said it has no hostile intent toward North Korea and has called on Pyongyang to resume talks.

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