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North Korea bombs South Korea Liaison Office

North Korea bombs South Korea Liaison Office

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Fears of war sprouting as North Korea ‘blows up’ office in border zone with South leading to fears of war, on Tuesday after it threatened to take action if North Korean defectors went ahead with a campaign to send propaganda leaflets into the North.

 

A loud explosion was heard and smoke was seen rising into the air as North Korea blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong in a dramatic escalation of tensions with South Korea near the the demilitarised zone – North Korea had stepped up its fiery rhetoric in recent days.

 

The North Korea de-facto embassy with the South was blown up to cut all communication lines – in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the old rivals.



In the aftermath, Pyongyang said the inter-Korea liaison office was “tragically ruined with a terrific explosion” and it wanted “human scum” North Korean defectors and Seoul to “pay dearly for their crimes”.

 

There are fears military clashes could erupt along the heavily fortified and guarded demilitarised zone (DMZ) that divides the neighbours after the North said its troops were prepared to enter the area.

North Korea bombs South Korea Liaison Office

A loud explosion was followed by a plume of smoke as the four-storey office in Kaesong was destroyed days after Pyongyang threatened to take action if defectors went ahead with a campaign to send propaganda leaflets into the North, says Mirror.

 

Kim Jong-un’s regime warned its soldiers are ready to enter the DMZ to punish Seoul over anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets sent into the North via balloons.



North Korea confirmed it destroyed the inter-Korean liaison office, which had been closed since January over fears of coronavirus, with a “terrific explosion”, and cut all communication lines with South Korea.

 

State media said the building was demolished “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”.

 

South Korea’s unification ministry said the building was blown up at about 2.50pm local time on Tuesday.

 

Seoul said its military has tightened surveillance and readiness for possible accidental clashes near the border.



A South Korean military source told Reuters that there were signs of the impending demolition earlier in the day, and South Korean military officials watched live surveillance imagery of the building as it was blown up.

 

Afterwards, China called for peace and stability on the peninsula.

 

North Korea has made several threats against South Korea in recent days, warning of military action and vowing to destroy the “useless” office set up amid warmer relations in April 2018, treat Seoul as an “enemy” and cut off official lines of communication.

 

The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) said it has been studying an “action plan” to reenter zones that had been demilitarised under a 2018 inter-Korean pact and “turn the front line into a fortress.”

 

“Our army will rapidly and thoroughly implement any decisions and orders of the Party and government,” the KPA said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.



Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, had warned on Saturday: “Before long, a tragic scene of the useless North-South joint liaison office completely collapsed would be seen.”

 

The de-facto embassy, in a now-closed industrial area just inside the North Korean side of the border, opened as the neighbours set up a permanent channel of communication as part of efforts to end a decades-old rivalry.

 

Split since the end of the Second World War, the Koreas previously communicated by special telephone lines and fax.

 

When the building opened, Seoul said it would allow the countries to “directly discuss issues 24 hours, 365 days”, and meetings would take place on a weekly basis.



It was staffed by up to 20 people from each side, with the South Koreans occupying the second floor and the North Koreans on the fourth floor.

 

The first face-to-face meeting there took place in October 2018 and was followed by further talks as relations improved between the Korea and the North and the US.

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