The US Department of Defense has labelled North Korea as a "persistent threat" in an updated key security document, warning that its military capability advancements would give the recalcitrant regime options to use nuclear arms "at any stage of conflict".
The United States on Tuesday criticized North Korea for cutting communications lines with the South, urging Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table.
According to the State Department spokesperson, “The United States has always supported progress in inter-Korean relations, and we are disappointed in the DPRK’s recent actions”.
“We urge the DPRK to return to diplomacy and cooperation”, the spokesperson further added.
Earlier on Tuesday, North Korea said that it would cut military and political communication links to “enemy” South Korea.
The threats come with inter-Korean ties at a standstill, despite three summits between the North’s Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in 2018.
Pyongyang “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 “from 12:00 on June 9, 2020,” the Korean Central News Agency said.
Last week, the North threatened to close the liaison office with the South and threatened further steps to make Seoul “suffer.”
Pyongyang has balked at all of South Korea’s offers for talks and cooperation amid a deadlock in denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington.