Earlier today, June 16th, North Korean authorities blew up its liaison office with the South in the border town of Kaesong.
The office structure inside North Korean territory, was established in 2018, to enable the two Koreas to communicate more effectively.
And while the act itself has astonished much of the world’s media, analysts and long time Korea-watchers are not entirely shocked.
Less than a week ago the North ended its twice daily calls to authorities in the South aimed at keeping a channel of communication open in recent years.
Fortunately the explosion today did not lead to casualties in large part as the liaison office has been empty since January as part of COVID-19 precautions.
The move by Pyongyang is therefore seen as just the latest in a long line of provocative moves initiated by North Korean officials who have in recent weeks accused South Korean authorities of sending propaganda into the north by way of leaflets released from balloons allowed to float over the demilitarized zone that separate the two countries.
The DMZ was the site of the famous Donald Trump – Kim Jong-un meeting in mid-2019.
Online reports in recent days have Kim Yo-jong, the the sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un’s warning that “trash (the liaison office) should be in the trash can,” claiming that the ‘useless liaison office’ could (have been) demolished at anytime.
Media in the north is now claiming that North Korea is fully armed and prepared for any possibility of a North-South Korean war.
As to wether or not a resumption of hostilities in the long-stalled Korean War will follow on from the latest act by the North remains to be seen; two Koreas technically remain at war, having never signed a peace agreement after the end of open-hostilities in 1953, when the Korean War ended in a stalemate.