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N. Korea Threatens to Cut Inter-Korean Ties

Posted October. 17, 2008 07:00,   


North Korea yesterday threatened to cut off all inter-Korean ties, citing the Lee administration’s “hostile policy" towards Pyongyang.

"If (the Lee government) sticks to the road of reckless confrontation with us and defames our dignity, this will compel us to make a crucial decision including a total freeze of the North-South relations," the North’s official daily Rodong Sinmun said.

In an editorial, the newspaper said, “It is our consistent effort to enhance inter-Korean relations in accordance with the two historic summit agreements between the Koreas and usher in a new era of independent unification and prosperity.”

The North took issue with South Korea’s strengthening of education for national security and unification; harsh response to the shooting death of a South Korean tourist at North Korea’s Mount Geumgang area; capture of a female North Korean spy disguised as a defector; Seoul’s recent comments on the possibility of Pyongyang’s sudden collapse; and a U.S.-South Korean joint military drill.

"If the horde of traitors continues to mar our dignity despite continued warnings, we will consider it stark challenge to our communist system and a declaration of war against us,” the newspaper said.

Pyongyang did not comment on specific measures to take if it severs inter-Korean ties. In colonel-level talks with the South Oct. 2, the North warned that if the South keeps dropping "propaganda leaflets" into its territory, it will harm the joint industrial project in Kaesong and tours to the North`s border city.

In Seoul, Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon said, “The comments by (the North’s) Workers` Party newspaper seem to indirectly express its discontent with Seoul. The government will keep an eye on the situation in Pyongyang, but remains committed to improving bilateral relations through dialogue.”