Kim Drops Any Attempt to Reconcile With South Korea

Ruler wants constitution to label neighbor as North Korea's 'No. 1 hostile country,' state news agency says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 15, 2024 5:34 PM CST
Kim Drops Any Attempt to Reconcile With South Korea
Visitors pass by a wire fence at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

North Korea has abolished key government organizations tasked with managing relations with South Korea, state media said Tuesday, as authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un said he would no longer pursue reconciliation with his rival. North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said the decision to abolish the agencies handling dialogue and cooperation with the South was made during a meeting of the country's rubber-stamp parliament on Monday, per the AP.

During a speech at the assembly, Kim blamed South Korea and the US for raising tensions in the region. He said it has become impossible for the North to pursue reconciliation and a peaceful reunification with the South. He called for the assembly to rewrite the North's constitution in its next meeting to define South Korea as the North's "No. 1 hostile country." Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest point in years after Kim in recent months ramped up his weapons demonstrations. The US and allies Seoul and Tokyo responded by strengthening their combined military exercises and sharpening their nuclear deterrence strategies.

(More North Korea stories.)

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