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North Korea Says It Will Sever Contact With South Korea And Will Treat It As 'Enemy'

North Korea said on Tuesday that it plans to cut off all communications with South Korea and treat South Korea as an "enemy," according to North Korea's state news service, Korea Central News Agency.

According to a Tuesday report from KCNA, the move comes in response to "defectors from the North" scattering leaflets "smearing" North Korea.

"They dared to hurt the dignity of our supreme leadership and mock the sacred nerve center of all our people," KCNA said. "This was an expression of hostility to all our people."

North Korean officials did not answer calls from the South on Tuesday, according to news reports.

South Korea and North Korea are technically still at war with each other, as the Korean War of the early 1950s ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty. The move to cut communications comes just a month after the countries traded fire at their heavily patrolled border.

"We will never barter the dignity of our supreme leadership for anything, but defend it at the cost of our lives," KCNA said. "We have come to a conclusion that there is no need to sit face to face with the South Korean authorities and there is no issue to discuss with them, as they have only aroused our disillusion."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Austin Horn is a 2019-2020 Kroc Fellow. He joined NPR after internships at the San Antonio Express-News and Frankfort State-Journal, as well as a couple stints in the service industry. He aims to keep his reporting grounded in the experience of real individuals of all stripes.