North Korea was spotted Tuesday installing multiple propaganda loudspeakers along its border with South Korea. But on Wednesday, the North removed all of them, after a military meeting on Tuesday that decided to put off military actions against Seoul.
Relations between the two Koreas have been rapidly deteriorating after Pyeongyang blew up a joint liaison office and threatened it would redeploy military troops to areas symbolizing inter-Korean cooperation.
But why the sudden shift in action?
To delve deeper into recent developments and to what North Korea's intentions are, we have Dr. Go Myung-hyun from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies joining us here in the studio.
Welcome to our program.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a military commission meeting yesterday, which decided to suspend its planned military actions against Seoul. What do you think has prompted the North to stop all its actions?
Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, has been at the forefront lead recently, issuing statements denouncing South Korea. But Kim Jong-un, who has been relatively quiet for a while, reappeared and put a temporary brake on the recent escalation of tensions. Pundits say the Kim sister and brother have different roles Kim Yo-jong acting as bad cop, and Kim Jong-un as a good cop. What would you say to that?
What we also have to note is that this Central Military Commission meeting was held via video conference. This could be because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak but at the same time, because Kim Jong-un may not be in the capital. Recently, there have been reports that Kim has flown over to another county, possibly to oversee the development of a new submarine or an SLBM. What is your view?
While that's been happening, this morning, North Korea's propaganda outlets like 'DPRK Today' and 'Meari' deleted over a dozen articles denouncing South Korea. Removing loudspeakers and deleting condemnations what do you think this means?
Meanwhile, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan, Marc Knapper said that the U.S. is keeping the door open for dialogue with North Korea and that Washington feels the same as Seoul in that they want to turn back time to June 2018. That's when the first-ever North Korea-U.S. summit took place. How does that message come into play now?
For now, there's no immediate response from Seoul's presidential office, while the defense ministry is urging the North to completely withdraw its military actions, not suspend them. The key now for the two Koreas is to restore trust. Is there any wiggle room for South Korea to work on that?
Tomorrow, June 25th, is the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, which separated the two Koreas and has still not officially ended South and North Korea are still under an armistice. The current situation on the Korean Peninsula draws attention to what both Koreas will have to say tomorrow. What kind of rhetoric can we expect from both Seoul and Pyeongyang?