kim jong
North Korea reopened a previously severed inter-Korean communication line with the South in order to discuss working-level issues. In this picture, taken and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a New Year's speech at an undisclosed location, Jan. 1, 2018. AFP/Getty Images

North Korea communicated with South Korea on Wednesday through a hotline that was unused for almost two years, in a move that signaled the possibility of diplomacy between the two nations after a year of escalating hostilities. The country opened the dormant channel at the shared border village of Panmunjom at 3 p.m. KST (1:30 a.m. EST), CNN reported.

A text message sent to reporters by South Korea's Unification Ministry read: "We have checked the communication line and are contacting each other," according to CNN.

Ri Son Gwon, head of North Korea’s agency that handles inter-Korean affairs, said, “By upholding a decision by the leadership, we will make close contact with South Korea in a sincere and faithful manner. … We will discuss working-level issues over our potential dispatch of the delegation," Yonhap News reported, citing a North Korea state-run TV station.

This development came a day after South Korea proposed to engage in high-level talks with the North on topics such as the latter’s delegation being possibly sent for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and also methods on how to improve relations between the two neighboring nations.

Kim said Monday he was willing to send a North Korean delegation for PyeongChang Winter Olympics in a bid to lighten his country's isolation, according to a report by the New York Times.

The North Korean leader, during his annual New Year’s speech, reportedly stated, “ I am willing to send a delegation and take necessary measures, and I believe that the authorities of the North and South can urgently meet to discuss the matter.”

“We sincerely hope that the South will successfully host the Olympics,” he added.

The report stated if the communication lines open between South and North Korea, then it would be the first time the two countries would engage in diplomacy since the former’s new president, Moon Jae-In, took office in May.

“Above all, we must ease the acute military tensions between the North and the South,” Kim said during his speech. “The North and the South should no longer do anything that would aggravate the situation, and must exert efforts to ease military tensions and create a peaceful environment.”

As a response, South Korea announced Tuesday they would be willing to engage in high-level discussions with their Northern counterpart, which would take place in a border region. South Korea’s Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-Gyon on Tuesday proposed governments of both the nations meet next week Tuesday in the village of Panmunjom.

Myoung-Gyon reportedly said, “We hope the two sides sit down for frank talks.”

The Yonhap News Agency report stated Gwon, however, did not say whether North Korea accepted South Korea’s proposal for the high-level talks next week.

The report added according to Gwon, Kim “highly appreciated and welcomed" president Moon’s offer for peace.

"The leader [Kim Jong Un] stressed that whether inter-Korean ties can be improved totally depends on North and South Korea,” said Gwon.

North Korea had cut two inter-Korean communication lines in February 2016 in protest of South closing down a joint industrial facility. The communication hotline was not physically removed. However, the dialogue channel was not operating as North Korea did not respond to calls made by South Korean officials via telephone, stated the report.

South Korea’s ministry of unification was pleased with North Korea restoring the communication lines, the report added.

The ministry said, “We will consult with North Korea over working-level issues in connection to our dialogue offer through the hotline.”