Kim Yo-jong is the sister of Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea. She had been cautioning South Korea about the propaganda balloons that were entering North Korea. She wanted the South to put an end to this practice and had warned on Saturday - "Before long, a tragic scene of the useless North-South joint liaison office completely collapsed would be seen." It has happened as the North-South liaison office has been blown up. This was a de-facto embassy located in a four-storied building in the Kaesong industrial area. Right now there are no industries but the facility is just inside the North Korean side of the border.

The purpose of the office was to have a permanent channel of communication between the two neighbors in order to normalize relations and end past rivalry.

The Mirror UK says witnesses in South Korea heard the noise of a loud explosion and saw smoke coming out of the building, which housed the liaison office in Kaesong, a city in North Korea. That was the end of the setup created to maintain a line of communication between the two Koreas. Tension is mounting in the region with possibilities of something more serious happening along the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

North Korea sounds the battle cry

The regime of Kim Jong-un has cautioned that its army is poised to enter the DMZ. They want to punish South Korea for its inability to control defector groups from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the boundary using balloons. The Mirror UK says North Korea subsequently confirmed destruction of the inter-Korean liaison office and cutting off all communication lines with the South.

The unification ministry of South Korea also confirmed the destruction and added that its military is geared up for any eventuality. China, an ally of North Korea, called for peace and stability on the peninsula. A spokesman of the foreign ministry of China made the remarks in the course of a daily briefing in Beijing.

The liaison office in North Korea

North Korea has been warning South Korea of military action and destruction of the liaison office, which it describes as “useless." The Mirror UK goes on to add that the office was the outcome of improved relations between the two Koreas in April 2018, but Pyongyang now appears to have changed its stance. North Korea is treating South Korea as an "enemy" and has discontinued all official communication links. Earlier, the two sides relied on special telephone lines and fax but once the liaison office came up, Seoul looked at it as a positive step to improve relations because there could be more frequent meetings.

Each side had a staff of 20 and while the South occupied the second floor, the North were on the fourth floor. They had their first face-to-face meeting there in October 2018 followed by some more as relations improved between North Korea and the United States especially between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump .

Relation between North Korea and its neighbor at breaking point

According to CNN, the blowing up of the joint liaison office built for talks between North Korea and South Korea is an indication that the situation is rapidly deteriorating. Fears of the coronavirus pandemic led to closure of the setup since January 30. The unification ministry of South Korea confirms this and adds that the staff of South Korea have stayed away from the building since then.

In the opinion of observers, the destruction is symbolic, and it could signal a turning point in their relations. The trouble began with propaganda leaflets entering the North via the aerial route of balloons. Kim Yo-jong, sister of Kim Jong-un of North Korea took a tough stand on the issue. It seems such actions violated the deal Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in struck in 2018 at their first summit. It mentioned that both sides would cease all acts deemed hostile and included distribution of leaflets.