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Tuesday, June 09, 2020, 18:58
KCNA: DPRK to seal off all liaison avenues with ROK
By ​Xinhua & Agencies
Tuesday, June 09, 2020, 18:58 By ​Xinhua & Agencies

NEW YORK/SEOUL - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will cut off all communication and liaison lines with the Republic of Korea (ROK), the DPRK's state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

"The relevant field of our side will completely cut off and shut down the liaison line between the authorities of the north and the south... 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," reads the report early Tuesday local time in Pyongyang. 

Top government officials in DPRK determined "that the work towards the South should thoroughly turn into the one against an enemy," KCNA reported

DPRK is also referred to as North Korea and ROK as South Korea.

ROK urged DPRK Tuesday to maintain communication lines. The routine calls between ROK and DPRK should be maintained as they are basic means of communication, said ROK’s unification ministry, which is responsible for inter-Korean affairs. The ministry said it will continue to follow the agreed principles and strive for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

Top government officials in DPRK, including leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, and Kim Yong-chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, determined "that the work towards the South should thoroughly turn into the one against an enemy," KCNA reported.

ALSO READ: KCNA: DPRK to withdraw from inter-Korean liaison office

The people of DPRK have “been angered by the treacherous and cunning behaviour of the South Korean authorities, with whom we still have lots of accounts to settle,” KCNA reported.

The report accused ROK authorities of irresponsibly allowing defectors to hurt the dignity of DPRK’s supreme leadership.

“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,” reads the KCNA report.

ROK urged DPRK to maintain communication lines. The routine calls between ROK and DPRK should be maintained as they are basic means of communication, said ROK’s unification ministry

As a first step, at noon on Tuesday, DPRK will close lines of communication at an inter-Korean liaison office, and hotlines between the two militaries and presidential offices, according to the report.

On Tuesday morning, DPRK officials did not answer a routine daily call to the liaison office, nor calls on military hotlines, a ROK defense ministry spokeswoman said at a briefing.

On Monday morning, DPRK did not answer the liaison phone call for the first time since 2018, though it later answered an afternoon call.

The decision to cut communications mark a setback in relations amid efforts to try and persuade DPRK to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for relief on tough international sanctions. DPRK and ROK remain technically at war because the 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

READ MORE: ROK seeks stop to anti-DPRK leaflets after DPRK complaint

Shares of ROK defense firms surged after DPRK announced it would sever the hotlines.



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