Dramatic footage has shown the moment North Korea blew up a building that it held with South Korea in an escalating row over the presence of anti-propaganda leaflets in the communist state.
The regime destroyed the Inter-Korean Liaison Office in Kaesong Industrial Zone at 2.49pm (6.49am BST) this morning and has also cut all communication ties with the South.
Video has now been released showing the moment the complex is reduced to rubble.
A coordinated series of explosions seems to be set off in the video, before the buildings crumble to the ground.
The destruction sends a huge plume of smoke into the sky.
The footage was shared this morning by BBC Seoul Correspondent Laura Bicker.
“South Korean military footage of the explosion at the inter-Korean office in the border town of Kaesong,” she wrote.
“Total destruction by the looks of it.”
The site, based in the North’s territory, was opened in 2018 to help the two Koreas communicate after a thawing in relations.
It has been empty since January due to the coronavirus outbreak.
South Korea’s Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo reportedly monitored the demolition from its command and control centre.
Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul told the BBC: “North Korea’s violent destruction of the liaison office at Kaesong is a symbolic blow to inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation.”
The liaison office was destroyed in the wake of Kim Jong-un’s state becoming furious after discovering “anti-propaganda” leaflets are being sent into the country by South Korea.
North Korean media reported on Monday that the Korean People’s Army is preparing to send troops into the demilitarised zones.
The two countries are still technically at war, decades after the Korean War ended in the early 1950s. No peace treaty was ever signed, and the two countries are separated by the heavily guarded Korean Demilitarised Zone.