North Korea cuts hotline to South

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) visits a long-range artillery sub-unit of the Korean People's Army Unit 641, whose mission is to strike Baengnyeong Island of South Korea in the western sector of the front line March 11, 2013 in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang March 12, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, center, visits the Korean People’s Army Unit 641. Credit: Reuters/KCNA

Reclusive North Korea is to cut the last channel of communication with the South because war could break out at “any moment”, it said Wednesday, days after warning the United States and South Korea of a nuclear attack.

The move is the latest in a series of bellicose threats from North Korea in response to new U.N. sanctions imposed after its third nuclear test in February and to “hostile” military drills under way joining the United States and South Korea.

The North has already stopped responding to calls on the hotline to the U.S. military that supervises the heavily armed Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the Red Cross line that has been used by the governments of both sides.

“Under the situation where a war may break out at any moment, there is no need to keep North-South military communications which were laid between the militaries of both sides,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted a military spokesman as saying.

“There do not exist any dialogue channel and communications means between the DPRK and the U.S. and between the North and the South.”

Despite the shrill rhetoric, few believe North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), will risk starting a full-out war.

North and South Korea are still technically at war anyway after their 1950-53 civil conflict ended with an armistice, not a treaty, which the North says it has since torn to pieces.

The “dialogue channel” is used on a daily basis to process South Koreans who work in the Kaesong industrial project where 123 South Korean firms employ more than 50,000 North Koreans to make household goods.

About 120 South Koreans are stationed at Kaesong at any one time on average.

It is the last remaining joint project in operation between the two Koreas after South Korea cut off most aid and trade in response to Pyongyang’s shooting of a South Korean tourist and the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel blamed on the North.

Kaesong is one of North Korea’s few hard currency earners, producing $2 billion a year in trade with the South, and Pyongyang is unlikely to close it except as a last resort.

The North’s military spokesman representing its “supreme command” did not mention Kaesong, which has suffered temporary shutdowns before.

The South’s government said it would take steps to ensure the safety of the workers at Kaesong. It did not elaborate.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

'A Brony Tale' documents men who are into…

Ashleigh Ball, a voice actress on "My Little Pony," speaks to us.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for using pine…

Pineda was thrown out of the game against the Red Sox Wednesday for having pine tar on his neck -- for all the world to see.

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.