North Korea closed its southern border Friday for the third time in recent days, even as it told Seoul it would restore a military communications hot line severed last week, South Korean officials said.
The North Korean military cut the communications line on March 9 to protest Seoul's decision to hold 12 days of joint military exercises with U.S. troops across South Korea at a time of heightened tension on the peninsula.
Washington and Seoul call the war games routine defense drills; Pyongyang accused the two nations' militaries of preparing to attack the North.
The drills ended Friday. The North said it would reconnect the hot line at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said.
"We will again restore the North-South military communications," said a message faxed to South Korean border officials, according to Lee.