Image: Yonhap News
Cheong Wa Dae has issued a rare strong statement in response to North Korea's ongoing provocative acts, warning that South Korea will not tolerate such indiscreet unreasonable words and acts by Pyongyang anymore.
Seoul's unusually stern reaction comes after the North, in a surprise move, blew up the inter-Korean joint liaison office in Kaesong in anger over the leafleting issue and Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of the North's leader, slammed comments made by President Moon Jae-in to mark 20 years since the first-ever inter-Korean summit.
Ron Chang joins us in the studio for the latest developments in inter-Korean ties.
Ron, first, could you tell us more about the latest remarks by Kim Yo-jong.
Well, it appeared that Kim was trying to pressure Moon to apologize for his failure to block a campaign by North Korean defectors to send anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the border.
The North Korean leader's sister blasted President Moon and his speech delivered Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000, calling it "shameless and impudent" and accusing President Moon of being subservient to the United States.
The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency also reported that Kim rejected South Korea's recent offer to send special envoys to Pyongyang and said it plans to redeploy troops to two inter-Korean business zones, namely the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Mount Kumgang tourist area.
The North's military spokesman said guard posts that had been withdrawn from the Demilitarized Zone under an inter-Korean tension-reducing deal would be reinstalled and military exercises would resume.
The statements came a day after the North blew up its liaison office with the South, following Kim's warning of a complete collapse of the office for failing to stop defectors from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.
That's a lot of saber-rattling by North Korea in a span of a week.
And, this has prompted sharp criticism from South Korea.
In addition to warning Tuesday of a strong response if the North further worsens the situation on the peninsula, Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday reacted angrily to the latest developments.
The top office slammed Kim Yo-jong for her "rude" and "senseless" comments as well as denounced the North's disclosure of Seoul's offer to send special envoys.
The defense ministry warned that the North will pay the price if it actually takes military action while the unification ministry expressed "strong regret" over the North`s plan to send troops to the joint economic zones.
The latest tension has prompted Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul to tender his resignation, saying he needs to take responsibility for not being able to manage inter-Korean relations.
The foreign ministry said it is in close communication with the United States, China and other regional countries over North Korea.
Meanwhile, it's also notable to mention that leader Kim Jong-un has again been out of the public view for more than a week.
He was last seen presiding over a politburo session of the North`s ruling Workers' Party on June 7 as was reported by the Korean Central News Agency the following day.
Back to you.
Thank you for that update, Ron.
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