North Korea has severed its last remaining military hotline with South Korea, citing the ramping-up tensions on the peninsula as its reasons — and causing yet more international worry over the possibility of a violent confrontation between the two nations.
"The Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army solemnly declared that... Due to the reckless acts of the enemies, the north-south military communications which were set up for dialogue and cooperation between the north and the south has already lost its significance," said North Korea's Central News Agency, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
South Korea is concerned that the North's decision to cut the hotline will affect the operations of the Kaesong industrial park, a joint operation between North and South.
The military hotline was often used to allowed the two countries to communicate about trans-border travel of both workers and cargo headed to and from the park, noted the New York Times.
The Times added that Kaesong industrial park operations appeared to be operating as normal on March 27th, indicating that North Korea's increasing cold-shoulder to the South did not currently extend to economic exchange.
On March 11, North Korea disconnected a Red Cross hotline that was routed through the neutral village of Panmunjom.
North Korea issued direct threats to US military bases on Tuesday, claiming that field artillery unites targeting US bases would be put into "combat duty posture" — a claim that analysts are taking unusually seriously in the wake of increasing tension.