North Korea cuts off communications with South after destroying liaison office

Credit: AP

North Korea has confirmed it blew up an inter-Korean liaison office and has said it will cut off all communications with the South.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency said all cross-border communication lines would be cut off at noon in the "the first step of the determination to completely shut down all contact means with South Korea and get rid of unnecessary things."

Earlier on Tuesday, South Korean officials in Seoul's Unification Ministry said the shared liaison office was destroyed at the North Korean border town of Kaesong.

Troops patrol the border as tensions rise. Credit: AP

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo-Jung, warned on the North would destroy the site.

She also said she would leave it to North Korea's military the right to take the next step of retaliation against South Korea.

The North has accused Seoul of failing to stop activists from flying propaganda leaflets across the border.

The latest developments come amid rising tensions between the two countries. It's thought the North has grown frustrated that Seoul has failed to revive lucrative inter-Korean economic projects and persuade the US to ease sanctions.

Current tensions are a far cry from the peace deal negotiated between the North and South in 2018. Credit: AP

North Korea's military has threatened to move back into zones that were demilitarised under peace agreements between the two countries.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called on the North to stop raising animosities and return to talks, he said on Monday the rivals must not reverse the peace deals that was reached during 2018 summits.

Inter-Korean relations have been strained since the breakdown of a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Vietnam in early 2019.

That summit fell apart because of disputes over how much sanctions should be lifted in return for Kim's dismantling his main nuclear complex.