North Korean officials withdrew from the inter-Korean liaison office in the border city of Gaeseong on Friday.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry said that North Korean officials held a meeting with their South Korean counterparts in the morning to announce the decision.

The North Koreans are said to have cited what they called an order from the upper levels of leadership.

The 15 or so North Korean officials left with only their documents, while leaving behind equipment, noting they didn’t care whether South Korea continues to maintain its office and that they would be in contact with the South to resolve working-level matters.

Seoul expressed hope that the North would return soon to the liaison office.

The inter-Korean communication office was established after the first inter-Korean summit in April of last year.

Presidential National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong convened a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss Seoul’s reaction and will analyze the reasons behind the North’s move.

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