12:34 GMT +321 August 2019
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    A vehicle leaving the Kaesong joint industrial zone passes through disinfectant spray before a checkpoint at the CIQ immigration centre near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North an South Korea, in Paju on February 11, 2016

    North Korea Disables Emergency Communication Links With South

    © AFP 2019 / ED JONES
    Asia & Pacific
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    DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said that North Korean authorities have decided to disable all emergency contact lines with South Korea.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) North Korean authorities have decided to disable all emergency contact lines with South Korea after all South Korean staff leaves the jointly-run Kaesong industrial zone, the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Thursday.

    "Military communication lines and the hotline in Panmunjom will be disabled when the South's staff has been deported," the committee said in a statement published by state news agency KCNA.

    Seoul said Wednesday it was suspending cooperation with Pyongyang following the Sunday launch of a long-range rocket in the North, allegedly to put a satellite into orbit. The West suspects this was a ballistic missile test. It followed a nuclear bomb test last month.

    On Thursday, South Korean companies were ordered to pull out of the Kaesong industrial park on the border between two Koreas. The move reportedly aims to sever financial flows to the North, which it allegedly uses to develop nuclear and missile technologies.

    Despite limited industrial cooperation, South and North Korea are still legally at war as no peace treaty between them was signed after the Korean War of 1950-1953.

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    South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), emergency, Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea
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