But Yonhap also reported that the North had not severed another North-South communication line, this one to a North Korean industrial zone where South Korean companies operate.
South Korea’s new minister of unification, Ryoo Kihl-jae, said Monday that despite the current strains, “holding talks is critical.” Yonhap paraphrased Ryoo as saying that “depending on future developments, South Korea can examine ways to offer humanitarian support to the North.”
Still, he noted, “It is hard to discuss other matters when the North is making military threats.”
North Korea has in the past week threatened to wage war against both the United States and South Korea. Judging the seriousness of those words is complicated by the clutter of past threats that have gone unfulfilled and the fact that North Korea is among the most opaque and unpredictable nations in the world.