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N. Korea refuses to answer S. Korea's hotline calls for 2nd day

North Korea 09:46 August 11, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea did not answer South Korea's phone calls via liaison and military hotlines for the second consecutive day Wednesday, officials said, as Pyongyang is ramping up criticism against South Korea for going ahead with its summertime exercise with the United States.

The calls via the inter-Korean liaison office and military communication channels in the eastern and western border regions went unanswered at 9 a.m., after the North began to shun their regular calls from Tuesday afternoon, according to the officials.

"We are closely monitoring the situation," a military official said.

The disconnection followed a series of angry statements from Pyongyang after South Korea and the U.S. began a four-day preliminary training in the run-up to the main combined exercise set to kick off next week, despite the North's warning it will cloud inter-Korean relations.

Kim Yong-chol, a senior North Korean official, issued a statement earlier in the day, saying that the North will make the South "realize by the minute what a dangerous choice they made and what a serious security crisis they will face because of their wrong choice."

The statement came a day after Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, bristled at South Korea and the U.S. over the allies' exercise, vowing to strengthen the country's national defense capabilities and preemptive strike "for rapidly countering any military actions against us."

This photo taken from an observatory in the South Korean border city of Paju on Aug. 10, 2021, shows residents walking in a group in the North Korean town of Kaepung on the western front-line border with South Korea. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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