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N. Korea Blows Up Liasion Office: What Next? Implications for Inter-Korean Relations Updated: 2020-06-16 16:39:44 KST

In the latest sign that the relationshp between the two Koreas is rapidly deteriorating, North Korea blew up a joint liaison office used for talks between itself and South Korea.
The building was in the border town of Gaesong.
North Korea had earlier threatened to demolish the building as it stepped up its fiery rhetoric over Seoul's failure to stop activists from flying propaganda leaflets across the border.
Live in the studio with us is our go to North Korea expert, Go Myong-hyun, research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

It looks like North Korea did carry out what it had threatened to do and in line with your projection from yesterday. What is your assessment of North Korea's move today?

It comes less than two weeks since the North first fired a warning of discontent against South Korea over its cross border anti-Pyeongyang propaganda leaflets.
Then the severance of communication lines with South Korea. Today, the demolition of the liaison office.
Is the speed of provocations unusual?

The blow up of the office also comes within hours of South Korean President Moon Jae-in's message marking the 20th anniversary of the first-ever inter-Korean summit by the late leaders of the two Koreas.
President Moon had said what's key is building trust through constant dialogue.
How should this be received?

So, what does this latest development mean for the peacebuilding process initiated by President Moon?
Joining us live is John Delury, Professor at Yonsei University.

John, it certainly doesn't seem long ago that you and I were sitting at the media center for the 1st inter-Korean summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Then, a string of events that transpired in 2018 led us to believe peace had finally arrived on the Korea peninsula.
Fewer than three years later, are we back to pre-Moon Jae-in administration in terms of inter-Korean affairs?

Following an emergency meeting of the National Security Council today, Seoul's presidential Blue House expressed strong regret and vowed to respond strongly if the North continued to worsen the situation. It's the strongest response yet from Seoul vis a vis Pyeongyang.
What does it mean by this?

Will the U.S. respond to North Korea's threats?

John Delury, Professor at Yonsei University, many thanks for speaking with us this evening. We appreciate it.

What do we expect now? Will North Korea continue to ramp up the intensity of provocations?
If so how?
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