North Korea withdraws from DMZ joint liaison office after new US sanctions
For the first time since the breakdown of last month’s US-North Korea summit, the US government has imposed new sanctions affecting the government in Pyongyang. The direct targets of the sanctions were two Chinese companies that conduct business with the North Korean regime.
In what many analysts consider a direct response to the sanctions, North Korea on Friday pulled out of a joint liaison office with South Korea, located close to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two countries.
The office was a symbol of the improving relations between the North and the South, having been established only last year after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in the DMZ. The South Korean government expressed disappointment about the North’s decision, stating that it hopes “that the North will return shortly and […] that the liaison contact office will operate normally as soon as possible.”