North Korea says it will cut off all inter-Korean communication lines with the South, including a hotline between the two nations’ leaders.
The North said this was the first in a series of actions, describing South Korea as “the enemy”. Daily calls, which have been made to a liaison office located in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, will cease from Tuesday.
The two states had set up the office to reduce tensions after talks in 2018. North and South Korea are technically still at war because no peace agreement was reached when the Korean War ended in 1953.
On Monday morning, North Korea 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 marks a setback in relations amid efforts to try and persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for relief on tough international sanctions.
The two Koreas remain technically at war because the 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.