Pyongyang's decision is seen as a direct response by the isolated communist nation to unilateral sanctions announced by South Korea on Tuesday to punish its neighbour for carrying out a nuclear test in Janaury and testing long-range rocket last month
The tensions between the two nations have been on the rise ever since the nuclear test in January. At that time, the UN Security Council had responded with tough, new sanctions, which Pyongyang condemned as a "gangster-like" provocation orchestrated by the United States. The North has also expresssed its serious reservations to the start of large-scale South Korea-US military drills few days ago.
The asset seizure announced today referred to two now-shuttered joint projects, the Mount Kumgang tourism resort and the Kaesong joint industrial complex. "We will completely liquidate all assets of South Korean firms and related institutions left behind in our region," the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency.
"From this time on, we nullify all agreements adopted by North and South Korea on economic cooperation and exchange programmes," the committee said.