President John F. Kennedy in an undated photograph courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. REUTERS
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Since the first "red phone" in 1963 between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, many countries including the two Koreas have set up communication hotlines between leaders to ease dialogue in times of crisis.Other lines of direct communication were subsequently installed between Moscow and European capitals.The hotline was reopened Wednesday after a shutdown of nearly two years.In September 2011, the United States proposed opening a direct line with Iran to avoid a possible conflict erupting over the country's disputed nuclear program. The term "hotline" is today used to characterize all forms of direct communication between countries or sensitive authorities, over issues such as security cooperation. Japan decided in 2013 to install a hotline between its security council and Washington and London.
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