North cuts hotline, as hundreds of South Koreans work at industrial complex in the North

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 27 at 8:04 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has again cut a military hotline to the South -- and it's not clear what it will mean for the hundreds of South Korean workers who are at an industrial complex in the North.

The hotline has been essential in operating the complex -- the last major symbol of cooperation between the Koreas.

South Korean officials say about 750 South Koreans were there today. The two Koreas had normal communications earlier in the day over the hotline when the South Korean workers traveled back and forth to the factory park as scheduled.

The last time the hotline was cut, in 2009, many South Koreans were stranded in the North.

A South Korean worker who has been at the complex since Monday, and was reached by phone today, said he wasn't scared. He says after years of tension, he's "used to it."

Shutting down the hotline is the latest of many threats and provocative actions from North Korea. It's angry over military drills by the U.S. and South Korea, and by recent U.N. sanctions punishing it for a nuclear test last month.

In a statement announcing the shutdown, the North repeated its claim that war may break out at any moment.

Print
Email
|