South Korea Slaps ‘Enemy’ Label on North Korea as Tensions Surge

South Korea Slaps ‘Enemy’ Label on North Korea as Tensions Surge
South Korea Slaps ‘Enemy’ Label on North Korea as Tensions Surge

Political Editor with files from sputniknews:

Arabnews24.ca:Tuesday 6 December 2022 06:16 AM: https://sputniknews.com/20221206/south-korea-slaps-enemy-label-on-north-korea-as-tensions-surge-1105096010.html

South Korea Slaps ‘Enemy’ Label on North Korea as Tensions Surge

South Korea Slaps ‘Enemy’ Label on North Korea as Tensions Surge

The easing of tensions and thaw in relations between Pyongyang and Seoul observed through the personal diplomacy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, South... 06.12.2022, Sputnik International

2022-12-06T11:09+0000

2022-12-06T11:09+0000

2022-12-06T11:09+0000

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The South Korean government plans to revive its classification of the North Korean government and military as Seoul’s “enemy” in a new defense white paper, local media have reported, citing government sources.The characterization of Pyongyang as an “enemy” by the government follows a similar labeling by South Korea’s military earlier this year. In June, educational materials distributed to South Korean forces stated that “North Korea’s provocations are security threats facing us,” and that “as long as such security threats continue, the North’s military and its regime are our enemy.”The “enemy” classification marks an about-face shift in policy away from rapprochement with Pyongyang by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May. On the campaign trail ahead of the March elections, Yoon’s allies promised to consider reinstating the “enemy” label on North Korea. Yoon’s predecessor, Moon Jae-in, officially dropped the “enemy” label in 2019 as his administration pursued an unprecedented warming of ties with Pyongyang.“Continuing to refer to North Korea as an enemy state in an official government document that is to be made public could contradict our efforts to cease all hostile actions as stipulated in the Panmunjom Declaration,” an official said in 2019, referring to the landmark communique signed by Kim and Moon in April 2018 aimed at officially ending the Korean War.Defense ministry materials published in 2019 referred to “real military threats” posed by North Korea, but did not label the nation an “enemy.” The 2021 version similarly did not feature the “enemy” label.While campaigning in 2017, Moon refused to call North Korea Seoul’s “main enemy,” saying there was not utility in doing so, and that as president, he would seek “to personally talk with North Korea to establish peace between the divided Koreas and also work to peacefully reunify the two.”The significance and utility of the new label is questionable, with the Yoon administration apparently also recently labeling striking South Korean truckers a “threat” comparable to that posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons.Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated dramatically amid the collapse in the historic rapprochement reached between 2018 and 2020, which resulted in the US and South Korea scaling back military drills near North Korea, and Pyongyang responding in kind by reducing missile tests.On Tuesday, the North Korean military reported that it had fired multiple launch rocket systems and howitzers in an area adjacent to the military demarcation line in response to fresh South Korean-US drills.North Korea has launched more than 200 missile tests this year amid the ramping up of provocative South Korean, US and Japanese military drills on its borders.Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister and deputy director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers Party of Korea, slammed the South Korean government last month as a US “stooge” and “stray dog gnawing at the bone given by the United States” amid reports that Seoul was planning to slap new sanctions on Pyongyang. North Korean officials and media have also attacked US President Joe Biden, calling him an “imbecile” and a “rabid dog” who should “be beaten to death with a stick” after Biden labeled Kim a “thug” and “tyrant.”

https://sputniknews.com/20221009/what-happens-if-seoul-rips-up-historic-2018-inter-korean-military-treaty-1101661648.html

https://sputniknews.com/20221206/pyongyang-says-opened-artillery-fire-in-response-to-south-korean-shelling-at-contact-line-1105084855.html

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The easing of tensions and thaw in relations between Pyongyang and Seoul observed through the personal diplomacy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump collapsed under the latter two leaders’ successors, with the US and South Korea resuming drills, and Pyongyang ramping up missile tests.

The South Korean government plans to revive its classification of the North Korean government and military as Seoul’s “enemy” in a new defense white paper, local media have reported, citing government sources.

“An expression referring to the North Korean regime and its military as an enemy has been included in the draft of the white paper,” a source said. The defense white paper, published every two years, is set to be released in January.

The characterization of Pyongyang as an “enemy” by the government follows a similar labeling by South Korea’s military earlier this year. In June, educational materials distributed to South Korean forces stated that “North Korea’s provocations are security threats facing us,” and that “as long as such security threats continue, the North’s military and its regime are our enemy.”

The “enemy” classification marks an about-face shift in policy away from rapprochement with Pyongyang by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May. On the campaign trail ahead of the March elections, Yoon’s allies promised to consider reinstating the “enemy” label on North Korea. Yoon’s predecessor, Moon Jae-in, officially dropped the “enemy” label in 2019 as his administration pursued an unprecedented warming of ties with Pyongyang.

“Continuing to refer to North Korea as an enemy state in an official government document that is to be made public could contradict our efforts to cease all hostile actions as stipulated in the Panmunjom Declaration,” an official said in 2019, referring to the landmark communique signed by Kim and Moon in April 2018 aimed at officially ending the Korean War.

Defense ministry materials published in 2019 referred to “real military threats” posed by North Korea, but did not label the nation an “enemy.” The 2021 version similarly did not feature the “enemy” label.

While campaigning in 2017, Moon refused to call North Korea Seoul’s “main enemy,” saying there was not utility in doing so, and that as president, he would seek “to personally talk with North Korea to establish peace between the divided Koreas and also work to peacefully reunify the two.”
The significance and utility of the new label is questionable, with the Yoon administration apparently also recently labeling striking South Korean truckers a “threat” comparable to that posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated dramatically amid the collapse in the historic rapprochement reached between 2018 and 2020, which resulted in the US and South Korea scaling back military drills near North Korea, and Pyongyang responding in kind by reducing missile tests.

On Tuesday, the North Korean military reported that it had fired multiple launch rocket systems and howitzers in an area adjacent to the military demarcation line in response to fresh South Korean-US drills.

North Korea has launched more than 200 missile tests this year amid the ramping up of provocative South Korean, US and Japanese military drills on its borders.
Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister and deputy director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers Party of Korea, slammed the South Korean government last month as a US “stooge” and “stray dog gnawing at the bone given by the United States” amid reports that Seoul was planning to slap new sanctions on Pyongyang. North Korean officials and media have also attacked US President Joe Biden, calling him an “imbecile” and a “rabid dog” who should “be beaten to death with a stick” after Biden labeled Kim a “thug” and “tyrant.”

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