North Korea 'blows up' building in 'Demilitarized Zone' in major war escalation

North Korea has blown up a building in the “Demilitarized Zone” between the north and south in a major escalation of tensions in the region.

The communist regime also said it has cut off all communication lines with its southern neighbour.

An explosion was heard before smoke was seen rising from the joint industrial complex in the town of Kaesong, some 85 miles southeast of the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

South Korea has confirmed the Inter-Korean Liason Office in Kaesong Industrial Zone was destroyed on Tuesday afternoon.

The move comes just hours after the North stepped up threats of military action against the South.

This site, which is in the North’s territory, was opened in 2018 to help the two Koreas communicate.

But it has sat empty since January due to coronavirus restrictions.

Tensions have been growing between North and South Korea for weeks, triggered by defector groups in the South sending propaganda into the North.



North Korea has repeatedly condemned the South for allowing propaganda to cross the border.

Defector groups often send material via balloons or even drones into the North.

The North Korean leader’s sister, Kim Yo-jong at the weekend threatened to demolish in the office in a “tragic scene”.



North Korea

Both states set up the office after talks between Kim Jong-un and his southern counterpart President Moon-Jae-in.

North Korea confirmed it completely destroyed the Inter-Korean Liaison Office on South Korean media agency Yonhap.

China’s Foreign Ministry has called on North and South Korea to maintain peace and stability.



Kaesong

South Korea’s Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo reportedly monitored the demolition from its command and control centre.

Seoul said the liaison office was destroyed at 2.49pm local time (6.49am BST).

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.”

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