N. Korea says it will sever hotlines with South: KCNA

North Korea said on Tuesday (June 9) it will sever hotlines with South Korea as the first step toward shutting down all contact with Seoul.

That's according to state news agency KCNA.

For several days, North Korea has lashed out at South Korea, threatening to close a liaison office and other projects if the South does not stop defectors from sending leaflets and other material into the North.

And the abrupt move will come as soon as noon on Tuesday, when the North will close lines of communication at both an inter-Korean liason office, and hotlines between the two militaries and presidential offices.

On Tuesday morning, North Korean officials did not answer a routine daily call to the liaison office, nor calls on military hotlines, Yonhap news agency reported.

The decision to cut communications marks a setback in efforts to try and persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for relief on tough international sanctions.

The two Koreas remain technically at war because the 1950 - 1953 Korean War ended with an armistice, rather than a peace treaty.