North Korea will cut military and political communication links to “enemy” South Korea on Tuesday, according to the media report.
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.
The South’s Unification Ministry said, “The liaison office attempted to call North Korea this morning, but the North did not answer”.
North Korea also did not answer calls via military hotlines, according to the Defence Ministry.
Earlier in the day, the North said it will sever all communication lines with the South at noon Tuesday, accusing Seoul of turning a blind eye to North Korean defectors sending propaganda leaflets criticizing Pyongyang’s leadership, reports Yonhap News Agency.
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.
“The disgusting riff-raff have committed hostile acts against North Korea by taking advantage of the south Korean authorities’ irresponsible stance and with their connivance. They dared to hurt the dignity of our supreme leadership,” Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report.
Last week, the North threatened to close the liaison office with the South and threatened further steps to make Seoul “suffer.”
Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, also threatened to scrap a military agreement signed with Seoul unless the South stopped activists from sending the leaflets.
The KCNA noted that cutting off all communication lines will be “the first step of the determination to completely shut down all contact means with South Korea and get rid of unnecessary things”.
Pyongyang has balked at all of South Korea’s offers for talks and cooperation amid a deadlock in denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington.
(With inputs from agency)