The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) cut off all inter-Korean communication lines at noon Tuesday, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Tuesday morning.
The relevant field of DPRK side “completely cut off and shut down the liaison line between the authorities of the north and the south, which has been maintained through the north-south joint liaison office” starting from 12:00 (0300 GMT) on June 9, the report said.
Other communications will also be cut off, which includes the East and West Seas communication lines between the military of the North and the South, the inter-Korean trial communication line and the hotline between the office building of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and South Korean presidential office Chongwadae, according to the KCNA.
The development is apparent follow-up action of DPRK after its top officials have recently threatened to shut down the inter-Korean liaison office or even withdraw from the military cooperation agreement signed in 2018 in protest at anti-DPRK propaganda leaflets that defectors from the North fly across the border.
On Thursday, Kim Yo-jong, sister of top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, issued a statement threatening to close the liaison office or even completely dismantle a now-shuttered joint industrial park in the North’s border city of Kaesong unless Seoul stops defector groups from sending leaflets into the North.
“The South Korean authorities connived with the hostile acts against the DPRK by the riff-raff, while trying to dodge heavy responsibility with nasty excuses. This has driven the inter-Korean relations into a catastrophe,” the KCNA said.
It went on to say that “the disgusting riff-raff have committed hostile acts against the DPRK by taking advantage of the South Korean authorities’ irresponsible stance and with their connivance.”
“We have reached a conclusion that there is no need to sit face to face with the South Korean authorities and there is no issue to discuss with them, as they have only aroused our dismay,” it added.
South Korea urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Tuesday to maintain communication lines between the two Koreas after Pyongyang’s threat to cut off all inter-Korean hotlines, multiple local media reported.
An unidentified South Korean unification ministry official was quoted as telling local reporters that the inter-Korean communication lines, which are a basic tool for communication, should be kept in place as agreed upon between the two Koreas.
The official said South Korea will follow the inter-Korean agreement while makings efforts for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.