North Korea to cut communications with 'enemy' South in row over leafleting

WION Web Team
Pyongyang, North Korea Updated: Jun 09, 2020, 10:02 AM(IST)

File photo: North Korea leader Kim Jong-un Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

For several days, North Korea has lashed out at South Korea, threatening to close an inter-Korean liaison office and other projects if the South does not stop activists and defectors from sending leaflets and other anti-Pyongyang material into the North.

North Korea says it will sever hotlines with South Korea as the first step toward shutting down all means of contact with Seoul, state news agency KCNA has reported.

For several days, North Korea has lashed out at South Korea, threatening to close an inter-Korean liaison office and other projects if the South does not stop activists and defectors from sending leaflets and other anti-Pyongyang material into the North.

The North said this was the first in a series of actions, describing South Korea as "the enemy".

Also read: Inter-Korean relations further deteriorate

As a first step, at noon on Tuesday, North Korea will “will 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,” as well as other communication links.

Those links include “the East and West Seas communication lines” between the two countries’ militaries, an inter-Korean “trial communication line”, and a hotline between the central committee of the Workers’ party of Korea and South Korea’s presidential Blue House, KCNA said.

Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader's sister, threatened last week to close the office unless South Korea stopped defector groups from sending leaflets into the North.

She said the leaflet campaign was a hostile act that violated the peace agreements made during the 2018 Panmunjom summit between the South's Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un.

The two states had set up the liaison office to reduce tensions after talks in 2018.

North and South Korea are technically still at war because no peace agreement was reached when the Korean War ended in 1953.

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