North Korea has accused South Korea of behaving like a "mongrel dog" bent on confrontation as Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un continued highly personal verbal assaults on the South Korean president saying previous inter-Korean agreements had failed because of him.
And that explains the regime's decision to blow up a joint liaison office earlier this week.
It's prompted a rare hit back from South Korea with the presidential Blue House saying it would no longer tolerate North Korean provocations.
"It is senseless of the North to discredit and ridicule in an extremely rude tone South Korean President Moon Jae-in's June 15th speech This is a fundamental breach of trust built between the leaders of the two Koreas, and we warn that such irrational words and actions will no longer be tolerated. We hope the North keeps basic manners in the future."
Is North Korea creating an artificial crisis? What is the motivation behind it and how will South Korea manage the crisis?
It's the topic of our News In-depth with Balazs Szalontai, Professor of North Korean Studies at Korea University.
Professor Szalontai, welcome to the show.
North Korea said it would redeploy troops to demilitarized border areas just a day after it demolished a highly symbolic joint liaison office. It also rejected President Moon's offer to send special envoys.Will Pyeongyang go ahead with that and burn the bridge with Seoul?
Will or should South Korea also redeploy troops to demilitarized border areas if North Korea makes good on its threat?
In a rare move, South Korea's presidential Blue House hit back saying it would "no longer tolerate" North Korean provocations, although it was not clear what, if any, action Seoul was planning.
What could those be?
WHY such hostilities by the North? Ostensibly, the core issue to have triggered North Korea's anger was South Korea's failure to stop a defector group from sending anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets.
That's obviously not the primary reason. Is that even part of the reason though?
Kim Yo-jong, she's obviously playing a prominent role in all this. What do you make of this? Why do you think Kim Jong-un is giving her this limelight?
The initial U.S. response was muted. Will North Korea's series of provocations draw the kind of response it wants from the U.S.?
What can we expect from North Korea now? What's next? Do we expect some kind of a military provocation, even, from North Korea? Vivid in the memory of South Koreans are the tragic incidents of 2010.
Balazs Szalontai, Professor of North Korean Studies at Korea University, thank you for your insights this evening. We appreciate it.