<font color="maroon" size=2><b>[Breaking News]</b></font><br>N. Korea says will sever all inter-Korean relations

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[Breaking News]
N. Korea says will sever all inter-Korean relations

North Korea said Tuesday that it will sever all relations with South Korea and won't engage in any inter-Korean dialogue or contact during the remaining tenure of President Lee Myung-bak.

In a statement issued by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, the North vowed to cut all communication links with the South and expel all South Korean personnel from the inter-Korean industrial complex in the North's border town of Kaesong.

The North also pledged to freeze and dismantle the Consultative Office for South-North Economic Cooperation in the Kaesong Industrial Zone while completely suspending the work of Panmunjom Red Cross liaison representatives.

The statement went on to say that Pyongyang will ban South Korean ships and airliners from passing through the North's territorial waters and air, in addition to starting an all-out counterattack against the South's anti-North psychological warfare.

"The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea formally declares that from now on it will put into force the resolute measures to totally freeze the inter-Korean relations, totally abrogate the agreement on non-aggression between the north and the south and completely halt the inter-Korean cooperation," said the statement carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency.

"All the issues arising in the inter-Korean relations will be handled under a wartime law," the statement said, strongly denouncing President Lee over his earlier statement holding the North responsible for a torpedo attack on the South's patrol ship Cheonan near the western sea border on March 26.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have flared after a multinational investigation concluded last Thursday that a North Korean submarine slipped into the South's waters near their Yellow Sea border and attacked the Cheonan with a torpedo.

North Korea, which has strongly denied any involvement in the sinking, has threatened to wage an "all-out war" if there are any attempts to punish the North.

"The DPRK had already solemnly declared that it would regard the South's anti-DPRK smear campaign over the sinking of the warship as a declaration of a war against the DPRK and mete out a merciless and strong punishment if the group dare defile its dignity," said the North's statement, using the abbreviation of its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The army and the people of the DPRK and all other Koreans will never pardon the group of traitors as it is finally bringing the dark clouds of war to hang over the Korean Peninsula, wantonly violating the historic June 15 joint declaration and the October 4 declaration and bringing the inter-Korean relations to a total collapse," it said, calling President Lee a "traitor."

The latest statement from Pyongyang came as South Korea has been trying to drum up international support to punish North Korea for the deadly attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors, and bring the case to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

On Monday, President Lee and his ministers announced a slew of punitive measures against the North, including halting trade with the impoverished neighbor, banning commercial North Korean ships from passing through southern waters, resuming anti-Pyongyang broadcasts, and staging military and anti-proliferation drills.

The president then indicated Tuesday that South Korea will re-designate North Korea as its main enemy in its defense white paper, while Seoul's Navy announced a plan to hold an anti-submarine drill later this week in waters off the west coast in its first show of military force after the North's torpedo attack on the Cheonan.

The two Koreas are technically still at war, as their 1950-1953 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. [Yonhap]

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조평통 대변인 담화 8개항 1단계 조치 발표
`남북 모든 통신단절..경협사무소 폐쇄`
`심리전에 반격 개시..판문점 연락대표사업 중지`

북한의 대남기구인 조국평화통일위원회(조평통)는 25일 남한 당국과 모든 관계를 단절하고 이명박 대통령 임기 기간 당국간 대화와 접촉을 하지 않을 것이라고 밝혔다.

조평통 대변인은 전날 국방.외교.통일장관의 천안함 관계부처장관 합동기자회견에 대한 담화를 발표하고 "북남 사이의 모든 통신연계를 단절한다"며 "개성공업지구에 있는 북남경제협력협의사무소를 동결, 철폐하고 남측 관계자들을 즉시 전원 추방한다"고 말했다고 조선중앙통신이 전했다.

그러나 개성공단 입주기업들에 대해서는 언급을 하지 않아 당분간 개성공단사업은 유지하려는 것 아니냐는 관측을 낳는다.

그는 이어 "판문점 적십자연락대표의 사업을 완전 중지한다"고 밝혀 1971년 적십자회담에서 시작된 판문점 적십자대표부가 39년여만에 문을 닫게 됐다.

대변인은 "괴뢰패당의 대북심리전에 대한 우리의 전면적인 반격을 개시한다"고 선포해 앞으로 북한도 남한에 대한 삐라 살포와 대남심리전 방송을 재개하는 것 아니냐는 예상이 나온다.

대변인은 "남조선 선박, 항공기들의 우리측 영해, 영공통과를 전면금지한다"며 "북남관계에서 제기되는 모든 문제들은 전시법에 따라 처리한다"고 말했다.

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