North Korea Destroys Joint Liaison Office At Kaesong
Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, threatened South Korea over the weekend with cutting off all communication. She threatened “a tragic scene of the useless North-South liaison office (in North Korea) being completely collapsed,” after defectors continued to send balloons laden with pamphlets across the border from South to the North. North Korea made good on those threats Tuesday by demolishing the joint liaison office set aside for negotiations with the South in Kaesong.
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 16, 2020
The building was destroyed at 2:49 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
The DPRK statement read:
“The north-south joint liaison office was completely ruined on Tuesday. The relevant field of the DPRK put into practice the measure of completely destroying the north-south joint liaison office in the Kaesong Industrial zone in the wake of cutting off all communication ties between the north and the south, corresponding to the mindset of the enraged people to surely force human scum and those, who have sheltered the scum, to pay dearly for their crimes.”
BREAKING: Here's footage of North Korea's state-run KCTV announcing that the North-South joint liaison office has been "tragically destroyed" on Tuesday. https://t.co/9HFgJOkq3a pic.twitter.com/O8mS6Rq35L
— NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) June 16, 2020
South Korea is in a “readiness posture” should North Korea attempt to escalate the tension. They have moved numerous mobile howitzers into position near the border. The Liaison Office was in Kaesong, which is in North Korea.
The activists which have been sending pamphlets to the North are being sued by the South. The South Korean Unification Ministry said in a June 10 statement:
The ROKG has decided to file a complaint against ‘Fighters for a Free North Korea’ (Head, Park Sang-hak) and ‘Kuensaem’ (Head, Park Jeong-oh) for violating the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act, and begin procedures to cancel their status as non-profit corporations.
The ROKG judged that the two groups violated the inbound and outbound regulations of the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act by flying leaflets and releasing plastic bottles toward North Korea. Such activities, directly going against agreements reached by the leaders of the two Koreas, are considered by the Government to have harmed public interests by creating tensions between the South and the North and posing a risk to the lives and safety of residents living in the border area.
To be clear, North Korea demolished their own building on their own side of the border because defectors from the North were sending leaflets via balloons into North Korea from South Korea.
It’s an excuse – after the North, which is still under heavy sanctions by the Trump administration, whined that it did not receive “substantial” concessions from the US during meetings with the President.