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North Korean attacked a South Korean office

A joint office of both countries exploded after a threat from Kim Yo-jong, sister of the North Korean leader, which will affect the dialogues between the two nations.

Kim Jong-un and Kim Yo-jong.

The order for the explosion was given by the sister of the North Korean leader, Kim Yo-jong. / Photo: Wikimedia - kremlin.ru, Wikimedia - Kim Jinseok

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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South Korea's Unification Ministry, an office in charge of relations with its northern counterpart, announced that on Tuesday afternoon, a joint headquarters located in Kaesong city, in North Korean territory, suffered an explosion caused by North Korea.

This headquarters was inaugurated in 2018 as an approach to the dialogues between both nations. In it, spokesmen from both countries met to break down the barriers that had remained unresolved since the end of the war in 1953. The city in which they are located is also a representation of the strong tensions and the fragility of the relationship between the two Koreas.

The joint headquarters that was affected had been empty since January due to the measures adopted by the pandemic. However, before this and since 2018, at least 20 people from each country worked together.

The explosion came after the sister of North Korean leader Kim Yo-jong, who has been in command of the nation on some issues, threatened in an official statement to take military action against his neighboring country. It had also expressed the need to end this office.

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Several days ago, the relationship between the two countries had re-strained after North Korean defectors in South Korea sent back to north propaganda pamphlets criticizing the Kim Jong-un regime. Kim Yo-jong had threatened his intention to close that office if South Korea did not prevent such shipments. The leader said that the office was not fulfilling its mission if it continued to allow that and, therefore, it was "useless" to have it.

In the same tension, he had decided to stop the two phone calls that both countries had every day, announcing that North Korea would not answer calls from the South. According to the BBC, the KCNA (the North Korean News Agency) stated in recent days that "cutting off all lines of communication will be the first step in the determination to completely close all means of contact with South Korea and get rid of unnecessary things."

This, since allowing the publication of propaganda was considered as actions against the enemy that threatened the dialogues. However, on the part of South Korea, efforts were being made to prevent the distribution of the leaflets.

The destruction of that joint office, a week after cutting off communication with South Korea, is a symbolic way to threaten peace between the two nations, considering that it had become a neutral territory. Now, the possibility of reconciliation between the two nations is tearing apart.

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