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June 17, 2020

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DPRK blows up liaison office

THE north-south Korean joint liaison office in the Kaesong Industrial Zone was completely destroyed, the official Korean Central News Agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea reported yesterday.

At 2:50pm, the liaison office was ruined after an explosion, it said.

According to a South Korean military source cited by multiple media, an explosion was heard and smoke could be seen rising from the industrial complex on the border.

The explosion came after Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the younger sister of the DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, said on Saturday that she had given instructions for decisive action to be taken.

The DPRK has repeatedly lashed out at South Korea over the anti-DPRK propaganda leaflets sent by defectors and activists across the border.

Pyongyang closed its joint liaison office and cut off all communication lines with South Korea last week.

Kim You-geun, first deputy director of the Blue House National Security Office, said that the South Korean government expresses strong regret over the DPRK side’s unilateral explosion of the liaison office building.

Kim You-geun said the demolition was an act of letting down the expectations for those who wish for the development of inter-Korean relations and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The NSO deputy director said all the blame should be placed on DPRK, and warned that if Pyongyang acts to worsen the situation further, Seoul will strongly respond to it.

Chung Eui-yong, top national security advisor for the South Korean President Moon Jae-in, convened a National Security Council standing committee meeting to discuss countermeasures against the DPRK’s action.

The South Korean defense ministry said in a statement that its military has been maintaining a firm defense posture while closely monitoring the moves of the DPRK forces.

It noted that the South Korean troops will strongly respond to any military provocations from the DPRK, adding that it will try best to ensure that the military tensions would not escalate through stable management of situations.

South Korean President Moon had on Monday offered to have dialogue with the DPRK to find a breakthrough.

The liaison office was opened in September 2018 for communications between the two Koreas in accordance with the Panmunjom Declaration.

The declaration was signed by Moon and Kim after their first summit on April 27, 2018 at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom.

China’s foreign ministry said yesterday that Beijing hopes for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.


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