World Briefs

N. Korea cuts military hotline with South

SEOUL, South Korea – Raising tensions with South Korea yet again, North Korea said it cut the last military hotline with Seoul because there was no need for communications between the countries in a situation “where a war may break out at any moment.”

The hotline had provided a channel of communications between the militaries of North Korea and South Korea, which do not have diplomatic relations. The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war, divided by a heavily guarded border and with both governments prohibiting direct contact with citizens on the other side.

However, for nearly a decade, the main use of the military hotline was to arrange passage for South Korean managers who work at a joint industrial complex in the North through the Demilitarized Zone.

Arms shipments rise to Syrian rebels

AMMAN, Jordan – Mideast powers opposed to President Bashar Assad have dramatically stepped up weapons supplies to Syrian rebels in coordination with the U.S. in preparation for a push on the capital of Damascus, officials and Western military experts said Wednesday.

A carefully prepared covert operation is arming rebels, involving Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, with the United States and other Western governments consulting, and all parties hold veto power about where the shipments are directed, according to a senior Arab official whose government is participating. His account was corroborated by a diplomat and two military experts.

The Arab official said the number of arms airlifts has doubled in the last four weeks. He did not provide exact figures on the flights or the size of the cargo.

Associated Press