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N. Korea to Close Inter-Korean Border Next Month

Posted November. 13, 2008 09:27,   


North Korea notified South Korean military authorities yesterday that it will “strictly restrict and cut off” all overland passages of the Military Demarcation Line from Dec. 1.

“We officially notify (the South) that our military will take a crucial measure to strictly restrict and cut off all overland passages,” said Lt. Gen. Kim Yong Chol, Pyongyang’s chief delegate to inter-Korean military talks, in a phone message.

“The outdated stance and attitude of South Korean authorities toward the two historic declarations (in the 2000 and 2007 inter-Korean summits) have been finally confirmed,” Kim was quoted as saying by the North’s official Korea Central News Agency.

“They should never forget that inter-Korean relations are at a crucial crossroads of complete severance.”

The North, however, did not mention an immediate stop to all South Korean civilian entry into the communist country, implying the overland passages will not be prohibited at once. Pyongyang, however, could get tougher if Seoul fails to meet its demands.

On the North’s notification, a key government official in South Korea called the warning is regrettable, saying, “I emphasize once again that inter-Korean dialogue should continue. I urge the North to act in concert.”

South Korean Unification spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon also said in a statement, “We respect the spirit of all existing inter-Korean agreements and are willing to discuss detailed implementation plans for the two declarations based on feasible objectives.”