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North Korea answered phone call at liaison office, Seoul says

North Korea answered phone call at liaison office, Seoul says
North Korea answered an inter-Korea liaison phone late Monday, after not picking up a call in the morning, according to South Korea's unification ministry. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

June 8 (UPI) -- North Korea answered a phone call from the South at the inter-Korea liaison office in Kaesong, Seoul's unification ministry said late Monday.

North Korea picked up a phone call that was made in the South after 5 p.m. The ministry confirmed the North answered at 5:25 p.m., South Korean news service News 1 reported.

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"The inter-Korea communication agreement went ahead as usual this afternoon at the [inter-Korea] liaison office," the ministry said in statement.

"The North did not comment on the lack of response to the morning liaison [call]."

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Earlier on Monday concerns had been growing in the South Pyongyang was breaking with accords following harsh North Korean remarks regarding inter-Korea ties.

The South had made a 10:30 a.m. phone call as part of daily liaison communication, but the call went unanswered, according to Yonhap news agency.

"This morning the liaison office attempted to call North Korea, but the North has not answered the call yet," unification ministry spokesman Yoh Sang-key said at a regular press briefing. "This is the first time North Korea has not answered our calls."

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On Thursday, Kim Yo Jong, North Korean deputy director of the Central Committee of the ruling Korean Workers' Party, had demanded Seoul take measures against the distribution of anti-Pyongyang leaflets by helium balloon.

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Citing lack of South Korea cooperation, Kim Jong Un's younger sister also called for the end to any South Korean involvement in tourism at Mount Kumgang, and the permanent closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a jointly operated factory park in North Korea.

On Friday a spokesperson for North Korea's United Front Department had said Pyongyang is looking into the "complete shutdown" of the inter-Korea liaison office at Kaesong.

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North and South Korea agreed to temporarily shutter the inter-Korea liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, in January, in response to the coronavirus outbreak in China, but has maintained communication since that time.

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