Korea vows to end diplomat communication channel with US

North Korea also said the United States is trying to gain "military hegemony" over the countries of Northeast Asia in a statement that agreed with Russian Federation and China's critical view of THAAD deployment in the South. South Korea, however, has been hesitant to allow the deployment of the system on its soil because it feared China would no longer restrain North Korea's nuclear and other weapons programs.

In the midst of an array of rhetoric which is becoming increasingly threatening and violent, North Korea also test-fired a submarine-based ballistic missile.

Technically, the United States and North Korea are still at war because the Korean War, 1950 to 1953, only ended in a truce.

It will be used by U.S. Forces Korea "to protect alliance military forces", the South and the United States said on Friday.

Saturday's launch came a day after USA and South Korean military officials said they were ready to deploy an advanced US missile defense system in South Korea to cope with North Korean threats.

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.

It has been used in the past to exchange messages and, less frequently, to hold discussions, including over detainees held by North Korea. One is serving a 10-year prison term with hard labor while the other received 15 years.

"He is now on a hard labour sentence and whether this will change or not, we are not sure", Park said, adding that he last spoke with Kim shortly before his imprisonment.

"All we can do is pray for his family", Park said.

The North also test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile on December 25, but that test was seen as a failure, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

It was then that North Korea announced the decision to shut down its only direct diplomatic channel of communication with the U.S. The move follows both the joint U.S./South Korea missile defense system and the United State's decision to impose sanctions on Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea.

"We once again warn the enemies that it is the steadfast will of the (Korean People's Army) to make merciless retaliatory strikes to reduce South Korea to a sea in flames, debris once an order is issued", the statement said.

"If North Korea continues its groundless claims and rash actions in defiance of our warnings, it will have to face our military's stringent retaliation", a ministry spokesperson told reporters.

South Korea attempted to assuage China, as the South and the U.S. have said the defense system is to protect them against any attack from the North, not to target or threaten other countries including China and Russian Federation.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday that THAAD exceeded the security needs of the Korean peninsula, and suggested there was a "conspiracy behind this move".

"The DPRK will take a physical counter-action to thoroughly control THAAD.from the moment its location and place have been confirmed in South Korea", the artillery bureau of the North's military said in a statement, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

This post has been seen 8 times.

Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate Euro 2016 victory
Portuguese boy provides heartwarming moment of Euro 2016