U.S. disappointed by DPRK cutting off inter-Korea communication
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 09:37, June 10, 2020
WASHINGTON, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Tuesday said that it was disappointed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) latest move of cutting off all inter-Korean communication lines, urging Pyongyang to return to diplomacy.
"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," a Department of State spokesperson said in a statement.
The statement also said the United States would remain in close coordination with South Korea on efforts to engage the DPRK.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Tuesday morning local time that the DPRK 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" starting from 12:00 (0300 GMT) on June 9.
Other hotlines will also be cut off, which include the East and West Seas communication lines between the military of the North and the South and the hotline between the office building of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and South Korean president office Blue House, according to the KCNA.
The development came in the DPRK's protest at anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets flown by a South Korean civic group, composed mostly of defectors from the DPRK, across the inter-Korean border.
Under the Panmunjom Declaration, the leaders of South Korea and the DPRK agreed to stop all hostile acts in areas near the military demarcation line (MDL), including the scattering of anti-DPRK leaflets.
The declaration was signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un after their first summit in the border village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018.
On June 4, Kim Yo Jong, sister of the DPRK leader, issued a statement threatening to close the joint liaison office or even completely dismantle a now-shuttered joint industrial complex in the DPRK's border city of Kaesong unless Seoul stops defector groups from sending leaflets into the DPRK.
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