North Korea 'cuts ties' as Clinton in South Korea

North Korea cut off key communications links with South Korea after vowing to sever all ties in protest at claims that it had sunk a Seoul warship.

North Korea 'cuts ties' as Clinton in South Korea

North Korea Wednesday cut off key communications links with South Korea after vowing to sever all ties in protest at claims that it had sunk a Seoul warship, officials said.

The North told the South early Wednesday it had shut down communications lines between their Red Cross authorities and also lines connecting maritime officials of the two sides, Seoul's unification ministry said.

It has not so far cut military communication lines which are necessary for the operation of a Seoul-funded industrial site at Kaesong just north of the border, the ministry said.

The North's state Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea announced late Tuesday that all ties are being severed.

It said South Korea's claims that it had sunk the Seoul warship were tantamount to a declaration of war.

A Seoul-led international investigation announced last week that a North Korean submarine sank the South Korean corvette on March 26 with the loss of 46 lives.

A day after saying it would cut all ties with the South, Pyongyang said it was considering closing a road link with the South which would threaten production at a joint industrial park that is a lucrative source of income for the North's government.

"The South Korean puppet war-like forces would be well advised to act with discretion, bearing deep in mind that such measures of the KPA (army) will not end in an empty talk," North Korea's KCNA news agency quoted a top official as saying.

"Clinton in South"


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived Wednesday in South Korea for a visit aimed at showing solidarity with Seoul in its confrontation with Pyongyang.

She was to have talks with President Lee Myung-Bak and Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan before holding a press conference and departing for home later Wednesday.

Clinton arrived from Beijing, where she pressed China to get tougher with its ally North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship.

China -- which could veto any UN move for new sanctions -- has not blamed the North for the sinking but called for restraint by all sides.

The South has announced its own set of measures against Pyongyang for sinking the Cheonan. Those include resuming, after a six-year lull, the setting up of speakers near the border to broadcast propaganda and send messages across by balloon.

Despite its announcement that it was severing all ties with the South, the North on Wednesday allowed workers from across the border to enter their joint industrial park.

But if it does cut the road link to the Kaesong industrial park, it will be unable to function.

Analysts say both Koreas, who have never repeated the open conflict of the 1950-53 Korean War, were unlikely to let their current hostility turn to war.


Agencies

Last Mod: 26 Mayıs 2010, 12:48
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