The two Koreas, which are technically still at war, don’t have regular phone service. They set up hotlines in 2018 after a series of summits aimed at decreasing tensions on their heavily armed border. But North Korea has previously shut the communications links in displays of anger.
“I believe it is a part of its political-diplomatic response, a way of expressing its strong disgruntlement against the US and South Korea’s joint exercises,” said Go Myong-hyun, a senior fellow of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
“It’s unlikely a step toward escalation, but more of a tit-for-tat response against the joint military drills and much more elevated deterrence posture from South Korea and the US,” Go said.
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