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Obama jokes that Twitter could replace Cold War-era red phone

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Obama: We both have Twitter accounts
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Obama noted Medvedev set up a Twitter account
  • Obama joked "...we may be able to throw away those red phones..."
  • The red phone is an icon of the Cold War
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Washington (CNN) -- Now that the leaders of Russia and the United States have Twitter accounts, perhaps communications can move past Cold War-era technology, President Barack Obama joked Thursday.

At a joint news conference with visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama noted that his counterpart set up a Twitter account this week during a visit to Twitter Inc. in California.

"I have one also, so we may be able to throw away those red phones that have been sitting around for so long," Obama said to laughter.

The red phone is an icon of the Cold War that was first established after the Cuban Missile Crisis. It served as a direct line between the White House and the Kremlin in the event of a nuclear confrontation that required immediate consultation.