Let's get some expert insight on North Korea's decision to sever all communication with South Korea in what seemingly started out as a clash over the flying of anti-regime leaflets over the border, but now has Pyeongyang declaring Seoul "the enemy."
We are pleased to be joined on the phone by Professor Bong Young-shik, Research Fellow at the Yonsei University Institute for North Korean Studies.
Professor Bong, this entire sequence of events started with Kim Yo-jong's press statement about the leaflets, and the gradual build-up of each subsequent step taken by the North suggests this might be part of a bigger plan being hatched by North Korea. In your opinion, what does the North have up its sleeve?
It's clear Kim Yo-jong has risen to become an extremely powerful figure within the regime perhaps only second to her brother what's behind her rapid rise up the ranks of power? And do steps like this clearly spearheaded by her make you question her own personal motivations?
South Korea's ruling party won in the April general elections. The Moon administration in the South is still looking for ways to get along with the North, what does North Korea have to gain from sharply raising tensions with the South at this particular time?
With the gradual intensification of ill-will against the South, what do you see happening next? Are we likely to see a provocation from the North in order to try and extract more concessions out of Seoul?
Professor Bong. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us and we appreciate your insights. That was Professor Bong Young-shik, Research Fellow at the Yonsei University Institute for North Korean Studies, on the rapid uptick in inter-Korean tensions.