US troops and South Korean troops have launched a joint military exercise as North Korea, which has slammed the drill and threatened both countries with nuclear attack, severed its hotline with Seoul.
The start of the two-week annual “Key Resolve” exercise follows a week of escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, with North Korea lashing out over tightened UN sanctions adopted after its third nuclear test last month.
Pyongyang has condemned the joint manoeuvres as a provocative invasion rehearsal and announced that – effective Monday – it was scrapping the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War with the South.
The South’s Unification Ministry confirmed that the North appeared to have carried through on another promise to sever the hotline between Pyongyang and Seoul.
The two sides habitually speak twice a day, but “the North did not answer our call this morning,” a spokeswoman for the South’s Unification Ministry said.
The hotline was installed in 1971 and the North has severed it on five occasions in the past – most recently in 2010.
‘End of ceasefire’
And the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North’s ruling communist party, confirmed in Monday’s edition the “complete end” of the ceasefire which halted the 1950-53 Korean War hostilities.
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
We encourage you to share and republish our reports, analyses, breaking news and videos (Click for details).
Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!