Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Summary of inter-Korean news this week

North Korea 16:00 June 12, 2020

SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

N. Korea vows to abolish inter-Korean liaison office in anger over leaflets

SEOUL, June 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea vowed Friday to abolish an inter-Korean liaison office in the first in a series of measures in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent from South Korea, even after Seoul promised to ban such leaflet campaigns.

The United Front Department (UFD), which handles inter-Korean affairs, said in a statement that leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, ordered officials to look into implementing a series of measures she threatened to take a day earlier unless Seoul stops North Korean defectors from sending such leaflets.

The hardline statement came despite South Korea's promise to take legislative measures to ban flying-in of propaganda leaflets, and appears to be aimed at increasing pressure on Seoul to make sure to follow through with its pledge.

Seoul committed to inter-Korean agreement despite harsh rhetoric from North

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government said Sunday it remains committed toward upholding the agreements between the leaders of the two Koreas amid threats from the North to shut down an inter-Korean liaison office in protest of anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent from the South.

"Our basic position is to comply with the agreements made by the leaders of the South and North, such as the Panmunjom Declaration," the South's unification ministry said in a statement, referring to the agreement between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his Northern counterpart, Kim Jong-un, from a summit at the DMZ truce village of Panmunjom on April 2018.

It was the first official response from Seoul after the North's United Front Department (UFD), which handles inter-Korean affairs, on Friday vowed to abolish an inter-Korean liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong, in the first of a series of measures in anger over anti-North Korean leaflets sent from across the border.

N.K. answers second liaison phone call from S. Korea amid leaflet tensions

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea answered the second daily liaison phone call from South Korea on Monday, the unification ministry said, after an earlier call went unanswered and sparked speculation that Pyongyang might be carrying out its threat to abolish a joint liaison office.

Monday's twice-a-day liaison phone calls were a focus of attention as the two sides were to have such calls for the first time since the North vowed to scrap the joint liaison office in anger over anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets sent by defectors and activists in the South.

Many had feared that a lack of response would suggest Pyongyang is putting the threat into action. Such fears had appeared to be materializing when the North did not answer the first liaison call from the South on Monday morning, but Pyongyang answered the second call, officials said.

N. Korea to cut off all inter-Korean communication lines at noon

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea will cut off all communication lines with South Korea at noon Tuesday, state media reported, blasting Seoul for failing to stop defectors from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the communist nation.

The decision came days after the North vowed to abolish an inter-Korean liaison office and completely shut down other major cross-border programs, denouncing leaflet-sending as a hostile act breaching a series of peace agreements between the two sides.

"The disgusting riff-raff have committed hostile acts against the DPRK by taking advantage of the south Korean authorities' irresponsible stance and with their connivance. They dared to hurt the dignity of our supreme leadership," the Korean Central News Agency said.

N.K. refuses to answer calls from S. Korea at noon after vowing to sever all phone lines

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea did not answer daily phone calls from South Korea via liaison and military hotlines on Tuesday after vowing to cut off all inter-Korean communication lines in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent from the South.

The decision to sever all phone lines at noon Tuesday was the latest in a series of angry protests the communist nation has made since last week while blasting Seoul for failing to stop North Korean defectors from sending propaganda leaflets criticizing Pyongyang's leadership.

Hours after announcing the decision, the North refused to answer a series of phone calls the South made Tuesday morning via liaison and military communication lines, officials at the unification and defense ministries said.

S. Korea vows to fully implement inter-Korean military deal despite N.K. threats

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will fully implement a military tension-reduction agreement with North Korea despite Pyongyang's threat to scrap it, the defense ministry said Wednesday, amid heightened tensions over anti-Pyongyang leaflets.

During a meeting of top commanders presided over by Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, officers said the agreement signed in 2018 has "specifically and practically" contributed to reducing tensions between the two Koreas, according to the ministry

"Despite the recent difficulty in inter-Korean relations, our military decided to fully implement the Sept. 19 military agreement to continue efforts for realization of reduction in military tensions, and to militarily back the government's policy for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the peace process," the ministry said in a release.

Cheong Wa Dae warns of tough crackdown on leaflet launches into N. Korea

SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- Cheong Wa Dae warned Thursday that the government would thoroughly crack down on a campaign to launch propaganda leaflets across the border into North Korea in its first official statement on Pyongyang's renewed brinkmanship highlighted by an announcement to sever all inter-Korean communication lines.

The office of President Moon Jae-in expressed "strong regret" over the continued launches of anti-Pyongyang leaflets by activists here, mostly defectors, citing a set of inter-Korean agreements intended to halt such acts.

The launches not only constitute a breach of South Korean laws, including the inter-Korean exchange and cooperation act, but also do not meet the accords between the two sides, Kim You-geun, deputy director of Cheong Wa Dae's national security office, said in a statement.

Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!