June 11, 2020 11:24
The U.S. has declared itself "disappointed" at North Korea's severing of all communication lines with South Korea.
A State Department spokesperson on Tuesday said, "We urge [North Korea] to return to diplomacy and cooperation."
"The United States has always supported progress in inter-Korean relations," the spokesperson added. "We remain in close coordination with our ally [South Korea] on efforts to engage" Pyongyang.
Speculation about the North's motives is running rampant. Christopher Hill, who once led failed nuclear negotiations with North Korea, told Voice of America that Pyongyang is "testing" the Seoul-Washington alliance and will continue to make unreasonable demands on Seoul and create tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Mark Fitzpatrick at the International Institute for Strategic Studies speculated that Pyongyang is holding the communication lines hostage as a means to gain huge concessions from Seoul.
On Wednesday, North Korea's state media focused on orchestrated anti-South Korean mass rallies denouncing the activists’ floating of helium balloons carrying propaganda leaflets across the border, which was ostensibly the reason for the North's latest hissy fit.
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