North Korea Ignores Seoul’s Hotline Calls for Second Straight Day

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North Korea
North Korea

North Korea has been snubbing Seoul’s phone calls via the inter-Korean lines for a second day in a row after harsh criticism of upcoming South Korea-US joint drills, the Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday.

Pyongyang began shunning phone calls on Tuesday, when it first refused to answer a scheduled evening call at 5:00 p.m. local time (8:00 GMT). Usually, the countries have calls twice a day. Earlier on Wednesday, North Korea did not answer a morning call scheduled for 9:00 a.m. local time.

“We are closely monitoring the situation,” a South Korean military official told the news agency.

On Tuesday, Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader’s sister, criticized the joint military exercises of South Korea and the US, which will take place from August 16-26, calling them a “rehearsal” of a nuclear war.

In July 2020, Pyongyang stopped contacting Seoul via all communication channels. However, the countries agreed to restore contacts a year after. The decision prompted speculation about the revival of dialogue with North Korea on the denuclearization of the peninsula.

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