onsdag 10. juni 2020

North Korea isn't talking to the South anymore. Experts say it could be trying to manufacture a crisis

North Korea has shut off all lines of communication with "enemy" South Korea -- a likely signal that Pyongyang is adopting a more confrontational stance towards Seoul after more than two years of detente and failed peace talks.  North Korean state media said several hotlines would be shuttered, including a military-to-military phone and another line meant to directly connect its leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a moment's notice. These lines were considered important because they could help prevent an accidental military confrontation caused by misinterpreting or miscalculating the other side's action or intention.

Choi Hyun-soo, a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry, said North Korea didn't answer phone calls on a military line Tuesday morning for the first time since it was set up in 2018. A call to the joint liaison office hotline, which North Korea said it shuttered Friday, also went unanswered.

"Inter-Korean communication lines must be maintained according to the agreement because it is the fundamental means of communication," the Unification Ministry, South Korea's government body that deals with all things North Korea, said in a statement.