On Monday morning, North Korea did not answer a routine daily liaison phone call from South Korean officials for the first time since 2018, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.
The North later answered an afternoon call, however, without explaining its earlier unresponsiveness, the ministry said
According to a Yonhap agency report, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Yoh Sang-key said: "This morning the liaison office tried to call North Korea, but the North did not answer the call yet. North Korea did not answer our calls for the first time."
The move came days after North Korea said it prepares to pull out of the inter-Korean liaison office, which is in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.
Two phone calls between South and North Korea are held daily, one at 9 a.m. and the other at 5 p.m. via the liaison office.
The agency was set up to reduce tensions between the two nations – part of an agreement signed by South Korea's Moon Jae-in and the North's Kim Jong Un in 2018.
The agency was temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. After the liaison office was temporarily shut down on concerns of the new type of coronavirus earlier this year, the liaison officers from both sides were communicating through telephone and fax lines between Seoul and Pyongyang.
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