North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Cities on Fire? Phone Out of Order

(KCTV file screengrab)

(KCTV file screengrab)

South Korean media reported on 27 March (Wednesday) that the DPRK severed an inter-Korea telephone line that according to Yonhap News Agency “has been used to notify the North of any planned movement of people and vehicles to the Kaesong complex located just north of the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas.”  According to Yonhap, citing Korean Central News Agency, the DPRK said that “the Supreme Command of the Korean People’s Army solemnly declared that… Due to the reckless acts of the enemies, the north-south military communications which were set up for dialogue and cooperation between the north and the south has already lost its significance” and that as of 11:20 am [KST] on 27 March “upon authorization, inform the south side that the north-south military communications will be cut off and the members of the north side at the military communications liaison office in the zone under the control of the north and the south in the west coastal area will stop their activities from this moment.”

Yonhap, citing an unnamed ROK Government official reported that despite the telephone being cut, “that despite the North shutting off contact, movement of people and vehicle traffic took place without problems during the day. He pointed out that notification processes over the demilitarized zone have all been exchanged three days in advance.”

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March 2013