North Korea blows up South Korea liaison office: Seoul

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 16, 2020

The North Korean Army on Tuesday warned that it will re-enter border areas demilitarised under a peace pact with South Korea, if defector groups there continue to send propaganda leaflets across the border, BBC reported.

The peace treaty set up a four-kilometre wide demilitarised zone buffer across the peninsula. Russian authorities responded to the bombing of the liaison office by saying that they were "concerned", while adding to call for "restraint" between the two countries.

Several defector-led groups, which North Korea refers to as "human scum", have regularly sent flyers over the border, together with food, $1 bills, mini radios and USB sticks containing South Korean dramas and news into North Korea, usually by balloon or in bottles by river. Pyongyang has dismissed Seoul's aggressive steps to stop the leaflet launches and ban such activity.

"It's hard to see how such behaviour will help the Kim regime get what it wants from the world, but clearly such images will be used for domestic propaganda", said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

The fact that Kim Jong-un's younger sister has been front-and-centre in this tension-building suggests that this could be about burnishing her credentials as someone who can be tough on the North Korea's enemies. Currently, Pyongyang is frustrated that Seoul has been unwilling to push ahead with improving inter-Korean ties.

Its destruction came after Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said at the weekend: "Before long, a tragic scene of the useless north-south joint liaison office completely collapsed would be seen".

Although the building was empty and the North had previously signalled its plans to destroy it, the move is still the most provocative act by North Korea since it entered nuclear talks in 2018 after a U.S. The United States has been unwilling to relax the sanctions unless North Korea agrees to give up its entire nuclear program.

South Korea's defence ministry called for North Korea to abide by the 2018 agreement, under which both sides vowed to cease "all hostile acts" and dismantled a number of structures along the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone between the countries.

But in keeping with the secrecy shrouding North Korea's leaders, it is not known whether she is married.

The demolition of the building, which is located on North Korean territory and had no South Koreans working there, is largely symbolic.

Kim Yo-jong's threats to reduce the liaison office to "dust" were meant to be taken literally.

"We're making clear that the North is entirely responsible for all the consequences this might cause", he said.

The episode has helped burnish the domestic and worldwide political credentials of Ms. Kim, who has taken on a dramatically larger leadership role in recent months. But it certainly is a step closer especially with North Korea's recent threats.

He also raised the need for the South's National Assembly to formally approve major inter-Korean deals.

"Our army will rapidly and thoroughly implement any decisions and orders of the Party and government", the army said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera.

South Korea's response to Tuesday's demolition was relatively strong compared to past provocations.

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