North Korea shuts border for third time in recent days

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.