North Korea’s leader declared the South his “main enemy”, disbanded the peninsula’s cooperation and reunification agencies and threatened war if they violated even “0.001 millimeter” of its territory. But will Kim Jong Un convert this aggressive rhetoric into action? AFP reviews the situation. What happened?
After years of deteriorating relations, Pyongyang this week declared Seoul its main enemy, closing agencies working on cooperation and eventual Korean reunification and threatening to invade the South during a war.
This is a significant change because “in the past, when there was a threat of armed conflict, there was a back (communication) channel to keep it under control. There is none of this now,” said Hong Min, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Reunification in Seoul.
Kim’s rhetoric, South Korea is North Korea’s “main enemy”
“Pyongyang has gotten rid of all inter-Korean mechanisms to prevent conflicts from getting out of control,” he said. “Describing the South as the North’s ‘chief enemy’ is not just rhetoric: words can lead to action,” he warned. Will it attack South Korea? Kim has said that he has no intention of starting a war, but neither does he intend to avoid it.
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