North Korea cut communications with the US on Monday. The decision is a response to the U.S. calling leader Kim Jon Un the responsible for the country’s human rights abuses.

North Korea decided to cut the only communication channel with the United States leaving almost no channel between the two countries to communicate. The decision comes days after the US addressed Kim Jon Un, and other North Korean officials sanctions over human rights abuses.

Kim Jong-un addresses the audience at the WPG
North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un is expecting to consolidate further his control over a country that has grown increasingly unique over their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Image Credit: IB Times

The measure, announced on Monday, comes in retaliation towards Washington’s decision of sanctioning North Korea’s leader over notorious human rights abuses. It is allegedly the first time US government imposes sanctions personally addressed to President Kim.

North Korea’s Sanctions

On Monday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) wrote in an article that due to the political sanctions imposed last week over North Korean officials, the country would handle all issues between the two nations according to a general wartime law, also involving American detainees.

US administration officials announced last week that the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jon Un, is the ultimately responsible for North Korea’s notorious abuses of human rights. Such accusation is what forced North Korean officials to demand Washington withdraw the sanctions immediately. The US did not accept the request and the Kim Jon Un’s administration decided to close the only communication with the country.

“The DPRK government sent the U.S. government a message on July 10 through the DPRK permanent mission to the UN in connection with the fact that the U.S. recently impaired the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK by releasing what they call ‘report on human rights,’ and ‘lists of targets of special sanctions’ related to the DPRK,” said KCNA.

North Korea called US sanctions as the equivalent to a declaration of war. The country decided thus to take corresponding actions to handle the situation, including harsh punishments on American detainees.

The DPRK has been formerly sanctioned because of its nuclear weapons program. However, it is the first time North Korean officials receive direct human rights sanctions.

The UN Channel

Pyongyang and Washington governments do not have a formal diplomatic communication channel. Instead, it has been the United Nations the only channel both countries have for a long time. North Korea’s mission to the United Nations, in New York, have let both countries to exchange messages and, less frequently, to hold discussions.

Considering that North Korea and the US do not have diplomatic ties to treat political issues, the UN channel refers to a method for North Korea’s U.N. diplomats to communicate with US diplomats in New York. The channel has been an intermittent point of mediation for both who remain technically at war since the 1950-53 US-Korean War ended with a truce.

“The DPRK government informed the U.S. government of its principled stand that from now on it would deal with all the issues arising in the DPRK-U.S. relations under the wartime law of the DPRK and the issue of detained Americans is no exception. The U.S. is whole to blame for the ensuing unpleasant things happening in the bilateral times,” wrote KCNA.

Source: CNN