Inter-Korean ties severed: Pyongyang Radio goes silent

North Korea has shut down a radio station that was reportedly used to send coded messages to its spies in South Korea, as part of its measures to disband its inter-Korean organizations.

Following the orders of its leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea is continuing to take steps to disband its inter-Korean organizations, which also involves shutting down a radio station that was allegedly used to communicate with its spies in South Korea through encrypted messages.

The state-run Pyongyang Radio and its website seem to have been taken off the air and offline as of Saturday.

This move comes after Kim Jong-un directed the “readjustment and reformation” of its inter-Korean affairs organizations at a crucial Workers’ Party meeting last month, amid rising tensions across the border.

Pyongyang Radio was known for transmitting a series of cryptic numbers, which were assumed to be coded messages, instructing its agents operating in South Korea.

The North restarted such transmissions in 2016 after halting them in 2000, when the two Koreas had their first historic summit.

On Saturday, North Korea also announced that it had a meeting the day before to decide to disband organizations responsible for civilian exchanges with the South, as reported by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

All related organizations, such as the North Side Committee for Implementing June 15 Joint Declaration, the North Headquarters of the Pan-national Alliance for Korea’s Reunification, the Consultative Council for National Reconciliation and the Council for the Reunification of Tangun’s Nation, will be readjusted, according to the KCNA.

The meeting also demanded a new reunification policy based on the view that the “South Korean puppets” who have only sought the downfall of the North’s power and unification by absorption are the “main enemy of the DPRK to be completely eliminated.”

DPRK is the acronym for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea has increased its provocations after Kim defined inter-Korean ties as relations “between two states hostile to each other” and called for increased preparations to “suppress the whole territory of South Korea” at the end-of-year ruling party meeting.

Kim also asked for a “fundamental change” in dealing with South Korea and ordered the disbandment of organizations in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

As a follow-up action, North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui led discussions earlier this month to disassemble the United Front Department in charge of relations with the South, as stated by state media.

Relations between South and North Korea remain tense, with tensions sharply rising last week after Pyongyang fired around 350 rounds of artillery shells in waters off its west coast between Jan. 5 and 7, the first live-fire drills near the sea border since December 2022.

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