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Kim Jong Un keeps reticent about Seoul in politburo meeting

Kim Jong Un keeps reticent about Seoul in politburo meeting

Posted June. 09, 2020 08:06,   

Updated June. 09, 2020 08:06


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance since his sister Kim Yo Jong issued a criticism against Seoul last Thursday, but this time, the young dictator made no comments on the South. Pundits say that Kim Jong Un is using a diversionary tactic thereby monitoring the reactions from Seoul and Washing to calibrate the intensity of his messages while giving his sister, who is chiefly handling South Korean issues, the job of bashing Seoul.

The North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun reported that Kim Jong Un presided over the 13th politburo meeting on Sunday in which the main agendas touched upon the economy and personnel. While the North Korean leader mentioned self-rescue measures and policies for the livelihood of people such as “the task of boosting chemical industry” and “the matter of guaranteeing the life for citizens in the capital,” but he made no comments on foreign policies in regard with Seoul and Washington. His reticence on South Korea comes after Kim Yo Jong issued a diatribe against the dissemination of leaflets from North Korean defectors in the South, which was followed by the announcement by the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea to “shut down the liaison office” and a slew of anti-South rallies mushrooming across the North.

Others say that the North could mount additional pressure against the South next week, which will mark the 20th anniversary of the June 15 declaration. The timing could be opportune for the North to send a hawkish message against its southern neighbor to sever relations, considering Pyongyang is deeply dissatisfied with its relationship with Seoul. “We cannot factor out the possibility of the North’s announcing to close the liaison office on June 15 after monitoring the South for about a week,” said Chair Professor Nam Joo-hong at Kyonggi University.

Gi-Jae Han record@donga.com