North Korea has bombed the joint liaison office with the South in Kaesong, North Korea after its various threats. Why did North Korea blow up the liaison office?
One of the apparent reasons of the bombing is due to North Korea’s fury about the pro panda leaflets sent from the North Korean defectors in the South, emphasising the North’s human rights abuses. 500,000 propaganda leaflets in balloons were sent from South to North in one instance. Balloons include food, bills of 1 US dollar, and USB sticks that has South Korean dramas and news.
A couple of days before the attack, Kim Yo-jong, sister of Kim Jong Un has stated that “I feel it is high time to surely break with the South Korean (ROK) authorities. We will soon take the next action.” She also added, “By exercising my power authorized by the Supreme Leader, our Party and the state, I gave an instruction to the arms of the department in charge of the affairs with enemy to decisively carry out the next action.”
In the light of the statements, the reason might be the fortification of Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo-jong’s global image as Kim Jong Un’s successor as there have been rumours about his worsening health condition. In addition, she has been at the epicentre of the threats and the face of the propaganda against South Korea who has become the key person of North Korea’s strategy towards the South. She has personally declared South Korea as ‘the enemy’.
It may also because of the failure of landing a deal with the US at the Hanoi Summit in 2018. Kim Jong Un might have wanted to change the feeling of weakness and disloyalty amid the fruitless conclusion of the Summit.
Furthermore, due to the decreased trade with China amid Covid-19 and economic sanctions from the US, North Korea’s economy that is already in a bad shape deteriorated even further. Thus, the country might have been taking coercive actions to make South Korea and the US change their policies about the sanctions.
Will the US and China involve if the tensions between the South and the North escalate, and carry their trade war in another geography?
Whatever the reason might be, North-South unification prospects are out of the frying pan into the fire and Moon Jae In’s choice of language along with the administration’s actions will be crucial defying the direction of the relations.