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North Korea says it’s cutting communications with South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in embrace during a signing ceremony at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

North Korea will shut down a liaison office it shares with South Korea by noon on Tuesday, along with other official communication lines including a hotline between its leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

State media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the country was cutting communication lines because South Korean authorities had “connived” to carry out “hostile acts” against North Korea.

“This measure is the first step of the determination to completely shut down all contact means with South Korea and get rid of unnecessary things,” KCNA said, adding that North Korean official Kim Yong Chol and Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong gave the instruction to “completely cut off all the communication and liaison lines” with the South.

North Korea had previously said it would close the inter-Korean liaison office, located in the border city of Kaesong. A communication channel used by military forces on both sides would also be shut down.

These communication channels were established in 2018 after Kim and Moon held several summits over the course of five months between April and September.

“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,” KCNA said.

North Korea last week threatened to scrap a 2018 military pact with the South over leaflets that were reportedly scattered from over the border that criticized the regime.


© 2020 Bloomberg News

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