North Korea will cut off all communications with the South on Monday evening, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
The move comes a day after North Korea did not answer its daily inter-communication call with the South. Since 2018, the two countries have conducted two phone calls each day on 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time in order to decrease tensions between their borders.
Pyongyang did not answer the first call Sunday morning but was able to be reached later in the afternoon. North Korea “did not mention anything” about the scheduled call in the morning, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a statement, according to Yonhap News.
The disrupted communications also come as North Korea threatened to close a liaison office with the South. North Korean defectors living in the South and human rights activists have flown leaflets containing pro-democracy messages past the border via balloons, with some containing portable USB drives with South Korean TV shows and music, much to Pyongyang’s chagrin.
Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, denounced the South Korea-based operation and described it as “evil intention,” according to the country’s propaganda outlet.
The South Korean government does not endorse the leaflet campaign from the peace activists and recently moved to enact legislation to ban the practice.
“North Korea keeps control by blocking outside information,” North Korean defector Lee Min Bok, who has flown the leaflets for 15 years, said in a previous Associated Press report. “To destroy it peacefully, the influx of information is necessary.”