The North Korean regime responds to the release of defamatory leaflets by dissidents sheltered in the South. The North Koreans will treat the Seoul government as an "enemy". A military pact and the common industrial area of Kaesong are also at risk. Experts: Kim Jong-un raises tension to obtain more in future negotiations with South Koreans.
Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Pyongyang today stopped all military and diplomatic communications with the South, and declared that it will treat the Seoul government as an "enemy".
Kim Jong-un's regime followed up on June 5's threat to abolish the Inter-Korean Liaison Office in retaliation for defamatory flyers being flown with balloons in from the South into its territory.
To stop the crisis, the South Korean government had asked for a stop to the sending of brochures, also announcing the launch of a specific legislative ban. Despite this, North Korean dissidents headed for the South continued to fly thousands of leaflets attacking Kim Jong-un across the military dividing line between the two countries.
For North Korea, the South has violated the 2018 peace accords. Kim Yo-jong, sister of the strong man from Pyongyang, has promised further reprisals. In addition to the Liaison Office, created to facilitate communications between the two sides, the North could also dismantle the inter-Korean industrial area of Kaesong, closed in 2016 after a missile test in Pyongyang. A pact aimed at reducing military tension with Seoul is also at risk.
According to several observers, Pyongyang’s actions are not just the result of resentment over the launch of the leaflets, but also the attempt to raise the tension to obtain more in future negotiations with Seoul: a tactic often used by the Kim family, in power since the end of the Second World War.
The two Koreas are technically at war, given that the two countries never signed a peace treaty at the end of the conflict that saw them opposed from 1950 to 1953.