North Korea did not pick up the phone this morning, but did in the afternoon.
Since the inter-Korean liaison office was established in 2018, the two Koreas have agreed on two daily phone calls, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
As the morning call went unanswered for the first time since the office was established, and after Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, lashed out at South Korea's anti-regime leaflet-dropping last Thursday, experts speculated that North Korea had started taking measures.
"North Korea is making its first move. The next move it has threatened to take if the South Korean government fails to act has already been laid out by Kim Yo-jong. So it depends on how our government deals with the matter."
Kim Yo-jong has threatened to rip up the military agreement signed by the two Korean leaders in 2018, completely withdraw from Gaeseong Industrial Complex, stop tours to Mount Geumgangsan, and shut down the inter-Korean joint liaison office, if South Korea fails to act.
Following her statement last Thursday, the North's United Front Department, which handles inter-Korean affairs, vowed last Friday to shut down the liaison office in Gaeseong as the first measure over anti-North Korean leaflets sent across the border.
To this, the Unification Ministry said it's closely monitoring the situation.
"We are closely monitoring North Korea's moves regarding the leaflet droppings by North Korean defectors. It's not about analyzing what will happen next but about figuring out how far the regime is willing to go over it."
Meanwhile, experts say Kim Yo-jong causing a ripple effect of criticizing leaflet campaigns has shown that her position as Pyeongyang’s second in command has been solidified.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.