North Korea said today it would suspend a joint tourism project and halt cross-border train service with South Korea starting next week because of Seoul’s hard-line stance on the communist nation.
The North’s army also said it will “selectively expel” South Koreans from a joint industrial zone in the city of Kaesong, but stopped short of shutting down South Korean-run factories that are a key source of hard currency for the impoverished nation.
Today’s announcement laid out the first concrete measures the North plans to take in implementing its threat to restrict traffic to the South starting Dec. 1 and marked a new escalation of tension between the two countries still technically at war.
Relations between the two Koreas have been tense since the conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office in Seoul in February with a pledge to change policy on the North. He said he would be different from his liberal predecessors and accused them of being too soft on their communist neighbor.