Kim Jong Un’s move to label South Korea an enemy, drop reunification policy part of


In October that year, the elder Kim also sent a special envoy to visit then-US president Bill Clinton in the White House, and also received then-US secretary of state Madeleine Albright in Pyongyang.

Through such overtures, the world saw “the arrival of a reform-minded (and) reasonable leader”, said Mr Lee.

The younger Kim had re-enacted such diplomatic moves in 2018, sending his sister Kim Yo Jong on a visit to South Korea, and holding a series of summits with his Chinese, South Korean and American counterparts.

“With elections in South Korea in April and in the US in November, I expect North Korea to continue to try to enhance its net value, which is not through diplomacy, conventionally speaking, but causing problems (and) exploiting insecurity,” said Mr Lee.

SOUTH KOREAN RESPONSE 

In response to Kim’s announcement, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol had vowed to punish North Korea “multiple times stronger” in the event of any act of provocation against his country. 

While such a response is expected, Mr Kang said both Koreas should be careful and understand where the limits of provocation lie, so as not to inadvertently escalate tensions in the Korean peninsula into an actual conflict.



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