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North Korea says it’s cutting communication channels with South Korea

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North Korea says it is cutting communication channels with South Korea

Seoul, South Korea — North Korea said it was cutting off all communication channels with South Korea Tuesday as it escalated its pressure on the South for failing to stop activists from floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets across their tense border. In response, South Korea’s liberal government, which espouses greater ties with North Korea, repeated that it would work toward restoring peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Relations between the Koreas have been strained during a prolonged deadlock in broader nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington. Some experts say North Korea may be deliberately creating tensions to bolster internal unity or launch a bigger provocation in the face of persistent U.S.-led sanctions.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency said all cross-border communication lines would be cut off in “the first step of the determination to completely shut down all contact means with South Korea and get rid of unnecessary things.”

It said the decision was made by Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong Un, and Kim Yong Chol, a former hardline military intelligence chief who Seoul believes was behind two 2010 attacks that killed 50 South Koreans.

“The South Korean authorities connived at the hostile acts against (North Korea) by the riff-raff, while trying to dodge heavy responsibility with nasty excuses,” KCNA said. “They should be forced to pay dearly for this.”

South Korean conservative activists, including North Korean defectors living in the South, for years have floated huge balloons into North Korea that carry leaflets criticizing Kim Jong Un over his nuclear ambitions and abysmal human rights record. The leafleting has long been a source of tensions between the Koreas, since the North bristles at any attempt to undermine the Kim leadership.

Last week, Kim Yo Jong called the defectors “human scum” and “mongrel dogs” as the North also threatened to permanently shut down a liaison office and a jointly run factory park, as well as nullify a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement that had aimed to reduce tensions.

Richard is a Post-Graduate in Mass Communication who is acquainted with the dos and don’ts of ethical journalism and news writing techniques. He is also a contributor to the World news section at USA Reformer.

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