N On Friday, word Korea drew "surprisingly", as the dpa news agency wrote, from its liaison office with South Korea near the common and heavily guarded border. A decision that was apparently founded on "the highest direction," said the South Korean Reunification Ministry in Seoul afterwards. First, there was no explanation from North Korea, but it is obvious that this step in the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un really is not "surprising". Because after the failed summit with American president Donald Trump in late February 2019 in Hanoi, where the two did not even agree on a symbolic explanation, several signs indicated that they improved relations with America and South Korea only in 201
The current Liaison Office is a concrete negotiation success for the first summit between Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un in April 2018 in Panmunjom in the middle of the Demilitarized Zone. The office was first opened in September in the old royal town of Kaesong, which has an important symbolic significance for both South and North Koreans, as it was the capital of the United Korea for many centuries. It is also located in the industrial area where South Korean companies once employed North Korean workers. No product has been released here since February 2016: Tensions over North Korea's repeated nuclear and missile trials cease to co-operate, and sanctions now prevent the Special Economic Zone from operating again.
This has become even more unlikely Since the joint liaison office was not only of practical importance to the peace process but also symbolic: they spoke again, not just military issues, as in the demilitarized zone near the Panmunjom site with the famous blue barracks boundary the two states – the case is, but also about economic or cultural projects. Earlier, however, it is appropriate: "Since the summit last, relations between the two countries have fallen asleep," says Hannes Mosler, junior professor of Korean studies at FU Berlin. The virtual settlement of the liaison office – the 25 South Koreans can remain present, but for what purpose without North Koreans? – was "regrettable" even though there are other channels of communication like the specified military.
Specifically designed for "bad weather periods"
It is about more than a brief contact office: The message of "highest authority" in North Korea As the South Korean government claims, there is nothing good to suggest. "Diplomatic representations should be able to function even during periods of bad weather," says Hanns-Günther Hilpert, Asia Research Group leader at the Science and Politics Foundation. The purpose of the office was, among other things, to consult on bilateral projects at any time, simply to get a short way to talk about relief or even problems. Seoul also wanted to use the office to talk to North Korea about dismantling its nuclear program. Pyongyang's movement points to a "great uprising by Kim Jong-un," said Christian Taaks, head of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation's Seoul office. Immediately after the failed Hanoi summit, the dictator had his deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui publicly philosophized on the resumption of nuclear tests – since 2017 and the beginning of thawing on the Korean Peninsula there has been no such test runs.