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North Korea severs ties with South

world Updated: May 27, 2010 00:51 IST

North Korea announced that it is severing all relations with South Korea as tensions soared on the Korean Peninsula. The announcement was a tit-for-tat response to Seoul’s imposition of sanctions on the North for sinking one of its warships.

North Korea said it will cut all communications with South Korea and would not resume any contact during the tenure of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

Lee announced tough trade measures against Pyongyang on Monday, including a ban on all imports and exports with the North and the closure of South Korean waters to ships from the North.

Last week, his government released the findings of an international investigation that blamed North Korea for firing a torpedo that sank Seoul’s warship March 26, killing 46 sailors.

North Korea said on Tuesday that it would forbid South Korean ships and aircraft from passing through its sea and airspace.

It also said that South Korean government officials would be expelled from the Kaesong industrial park, a North-South venture near the border between the two Koreas that has been a major source of hard-currency earnings for the impoverished government of Kim Jong Il.

It was not immediately clear from the announcement what would happen to the South Korean companies, which employ about 40,000 North Koreans in the industrial park.

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