North Korea on Wednesday severed all military communication with South Korea against a backdrop of mounting worry over the possibility of new hostilities, the New York Times reported.
A military hot line with U.S. forces based in South Korea had already been cut off, as had Red Cross lines of communication.
This is not the first time inter-Korean armed forces hot lines have been severed but the timing is worrisome amid high saber rattling and unprecedented rhetoric by the North of pre-emptive nuclear attacks.
"There do not exist any dialogue channel and communications between the D.P.R.K. and the U.S. and between the North and the South. Not words but only arms will work on the U.S. and South Korea puppet forces," the Stalinist state said in a statement transmitted to the South Korean armed forces.
As new hostilities could imminently take place, there is no point in maintaining inter-Korean military contact, North Korea said.
On Tuesday, the North Korean army's Supreme Command announced it had ordered all long-range missile units to be placed on top alert for possible strikes against South Korea, U.S. territory in the Pacific and the continental United States.
"If North Korea provokes or does things that harm peace, we must make sure that it gets nothing but will pay the price, while if it keeps its promises, the South should do the same," South Korean President Park Geun-hye told officials in Seoul.
South Korean officials on Wednesday said the government plans to no longer connect the provision of humanitarian aid to the North with progress on shutting down its nuclear weapons program, according to the Yonhap News Agency.