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North Korea Cuts Last Line of Communication with South Korea, US

Wednesday North Korea cut off its last military hotline to the South and, effectively, to the U.S. Shutting down the phone line, which is used by the military to coordinate cross-border traffic, is just the latest sign of increasing agitation in the North.

Since a nuclear test last month, North Korea has come under new U.N. sanctions aimed at curtailing its weapons nuclear program. The sanctions were led by the U.S. but approved by China which, after negotiations, agreed not to use its veto power to shield North Korea.

The new sanctions are primarily aimed at limiting North Korea's ability to funnel money into their nuclear research program. Shipments of cargo by sea and air will also receive new scrutiny aimed at limiting transfers of materials to the North's weapons manufacturers. Finally, the sanctions limit the sale of luxury goods to the North including "yachts and high end jewelry."

The North Korean response has been a series of threatening official statements and propaganda videos, several of which threaten nuclear strikes on Washington D.C. and Seoul if North Korea is attacked. This week North Korea announced it would move to "combat duty posture No. 1" which apparently means targeting U.S. bases in Hawaii and Guam with long range missiles. Notably absent from the propaganda clips are threats against China.


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