skip to main content

Pyongyang failing to answer military hotline amid tensions over US-South Korean exercise

For a second consecutive day North Korea has not answered calls made by South Korea via liaison and military hotlines amid Pyongyang's growing criticism of Seoul's decision to conduct annual summertime military exercises with the United States.

“The morning and afternoon calls via the inter-Korean liaison office and military communication channels in the eastern and western border regions went unanswered after the North began to shun the regular calls the previous day,” the Yonhap News Agency quoted unnamed South Korean officials as saying.

This comes as South Korean and US forces began a four-day preliminary training session on 10 August ahead of a scaled-down version of the main ‘Combined Command Post Training' exercise scheduled for 16–26 August, according to the media outlet.

Pyongyang, which has repeatedly denounced such exercises as being “rehearsals for an invasion”, has condemned the move, with Kim Yong-chol, a senior official in the Central Committee of the ruling Worker's Party of Korea, claiming that Seoul has “opted for alliance with outsiders, not harmony with compatriots, escalation of tension, not détente, and confrontation, not improved relations”.

“As we have already clarified, we will make them [South Korea] realise by the minute what a dangerous choice they made and what a serious security crisis they will face because of their wrong choice. They must be made to clearly understand how dearly they have to pay for answering our good faith with hostile acts after letting go the opportunity for improved inter-Korean relations,” warned Kim in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...