As authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un warned that his clandestine nation has no intention of avoiding conflict, he disbanded several government agencies charged with promoting reconciliation and reunification with South Korea.
State-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Tuesday that in a speech to North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim stated that unification with South Korea is no longer possible and called for a constitutional amendment to change South Korea’s status to that of a separate, “hostile country.”
Kim, quoted by KCNA, stated, “Although we do not desire war, we make no effort to prevent it.”
Three organizations responsible for inter-Korean reconciliation will cease operations, according to a statement from the Supreme People’s Assembly: the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, the National Economic Cooperation Bureau, and the (Mount Kumgang) International Tourism Administration.
According to KCNA, the assembly stated, “The two most hostile states, which are at war, are currently engaged in an acute confrontation on the Korean peninsula.”
The decision signifies an additional decline in the bilateral ties between the two Koreas in the wake of Pyongyang’s recent series of missile tests.
Global Concerns Amidst Rising Tensions
On Tuesday, President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea criticized North Korea’s declaration of hostility against his nation, stating that it demonstrated Pyongyang’s “anti-national and ahistorical” character.
North Korea announced on Monday that it had conducted tests on a novel solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile adorned with a hypersonic warhead, several weeks after the discharge of its Hwasong-18 solid-fuel missile.
In response to the weapons tests, Japan, South Korea, and the United States have intensified joint military exercises, which Pyongyang perceives as preparations for a future invasion.
The US State Department announced on Monday that US Senior Official for the DPRK [North Korea’s official name, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] Jung H Pak condemned Pyongyang’s most recent missile tests during a joint call with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts over the weekend.
Robert Carlin, a former State Department official, and Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist, stated last week in an analysis for the 38 North initiative based in the United States that they believed Kim was indeed preparing for war.
They wrote, “The danger is already far beyond the routine warnings in Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo regarding Pyongyang’s ‘provocations’, and we do not know when or how Kim intends to pull the trigger.”
“In other words, the war preparation themes that have been prevalent in North Korean media since the start of last year do not appear to be typical boasting from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”
Kim labeled South Korea its “principal enemy” and a “mistake that we should no longer make” regarding reunification efforts with its rival last week.