North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office building just north of the heavily armed border with South Korea on Tuesday in a dramatic display of anger that sharply raises tensions on the Korean Peninsula and puts pressure on Washington and Seoul amid deadlocked nuclear diplomacy.
The demolition of the building, which is located on North Korean territory and had no South Koreans working there, is largely symbolic. But it’s still likely the most provocative thing North Korea has done since it entered nuclear diplomacy in 2018 after a U.S.-North Korean standoff had many fearing war.
The liaison office was opened in 2018 as the first channel for full-time, person-to-person contact between the Koreas.
This development will pose a serious setback to the efforts of liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in to restore inter-Korean engagement.