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Hot Line Agreements

The "Hot Line" consists of two satellite circuits and one wire telegraph circuit. Terminals linked to the three circuits in each country are now equipped with teletype and facsimile equipment. Facsimile machines permit the heads of government to exchange messages far more rapidly than they could with the previously existing teletype system. They can also send detailed graphic material such as maps, charts, and drawings by facsimile.

In June 1963 the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to establish a Direct Communications Link, known as the "Hot Line," for use in time of emergency. Eight years later, the "Hot Line" was updated by a September 30, 1971, agreement negotiated by a special working group of the U.S. and Soviet SALT delegations and signed by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Soviet Foreign Minister. This agreement provided for the addition of two satellite circuits to the "Hot Line." Those two circuits became operational in 1978. Subsequent discussions resulted in an accord, signed on July 17, 1984, to add a facsimile transmission capability to the "Hot Line." This capability became operational in 1986. This agreement was subsequently updated by an exchange of diplomatic notes in Washington, D.C., on June 24, 1988.

In April 1998 the US and China signed a Hotline Agreement.

Primary documents, including agreement texts and associated memoranda.

Chronological archive of news reports, commentary analysis and other related material.

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