N. Korea Vows to End Diplomat Communication Channel With US | NECN
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

N. Korea Vows to End Diplomat Communication Channel With US

The U.S. government last week imposed penalties on Kim Jong Un and 10 other top officials for alleged human rights abuses

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    AFP/Getty Images
    This photo taken on May 7, 2016 and released on May 8 by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The country recently threatened to end all diplomatic channels with the U.S.

    North Korea said Monday it will end a diplomatic communication channel with the United States and hinted at harsher punishment for Americans detained in the country in retaliation for U.S. sanctions that target leader Kim Jong Un.

    The U.S. government last week imposed penalties on Kim and 10 other top officials for alleged human rights abuses. North Korea is already sanctioned because of its nuclear weapons program, but it was the first time that Kim has been personally sanctioned. The North called the sanctions tantamount to a war declaration.

    On Monday, the North's state media said it told the United States it will terminate contact through a U.N. channel in New York that allowed diplomats to communicate.

    The New York channel refers to a method for North Korea's U.N. diplomats to communicate with U.S. diplomats in New York. This is needed because the countries don't have diplomatic ties and their animosities have deepened because of the North's nuclear and missile programs.

    Airlines Reading, Responding to Social Media Rants

    [NATL-DFW] Airlines Reading, Responding to Social Media Rants
    A new study says airlines are reading posts made by customers complaining over delayed or canceled flights and poor service, and are responding to those messages. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has a team tracking Twitter, Facebook and other online sites 24 hours a day. When a customer vents about a problem, a representative reaches out to them. "The approach is really how can we help, wait a minute we hate to hear that.... so what is going on, give us some information and let's see what we can do to straighten this out," said Lisa Goode, with Southwest Airlines. Social media teams help airlines by rebooking customers or by helping keep them more calm by relaying information when problems crop up. (Published Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016)

    The North also said it informed Washington that it will handle all issues between the two countries according to an unspecified wartime law, including Americans detained in North Korea, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

    South Korean media have suggested that North Korea might use the wartime law to hand out harsher punishments on Americans detained in the North.

    The North's actions could complicate U.S. efforts to secure the release of at least two American citizens being held for alleged espionage, subversion and other anti-state activities. One is serving a 10-year prison term with hard labor while the other received 15 years.

    North Korea in the past released or deported American detainees only after high-profile Americans visited the country on their behalf. Outside analysts say Pyongyang often attempts to use foreign detainees to wrest concessions from other countries.

    Mark Schiefelbein/AP

    The North's announcement came hours after it made more threats, this time over a U.S. plan to deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea.

    The North's threat, carried in state media, was typical of past bluster. It came three days after Seoul and Washington said they were close to determining a location in South Korea for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system to better deal with North Korean threats.

    The North said it will take an unspecified "physical counter-action" as soon as the THAAD location is announced. The statement also carried one of the North's favorite, oft-repeated threats: To turn Seoul into a "sea of fire." It has regularly warned it would do that since 1994. U.S. and South Korean officials say THAAD only targets North Korea, but China and Russia suspect it could also help U.S. radars detect their own missiles.

    South Korea's President Park Geun-hye said Monday she agreed on the U.S. missile deployment because North Korea has openly threatened to launch nuclear and missile attacks on South Korea.

    Summer Camps For Adults Throughout the Year

    [NATL] Summer Camps For Adults Throughout the Year
    Fall may have officially arrived, but the summer camp experience is still going for some. More and more adults are reliving the summer camp experience during fall and spring. More than a million adults a year are indulging in camps according to the American Camp Association. (Published Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016)

    The two Koreas are divided along the world's most heavily fortified border. The United States stations about 28,500 soldiers in South Korea.