The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un has declared that unification with South Korea is no longer possible and called for changes to the constitution designating the South as the “principal enemy.”
Kim stated that three organisations dealing with reunification would be shut down. The two Koreas have been divided since the Korean War ended in 1953, and they remain technically at war as they did not sign a peace treaty.
During a speech at the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim emphasised that the constitution should be amended to educate North Koreans that South Korea is a “primary foe and invariable principal enemy.” He also mentioned that if a war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, the constitution should reflect the issues of “occupying,” “recapturing,” and “incorporating” the South into its territory.
Kim, who assumed leadership in 2011, expressed a new stand” on North-South relations, including dismantling all organisations focused on reunification.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol responded, stating that if North Korea engages in provocation, the South “will retaliate multiple times stronger,” highlighting the military’s “overwhelming response capabilities.”
Experts characterised Kim’s remarks as “unprecedented” and noted that it is highly unusual for a North Korean leader to deviate from the policy of unification. The shift in North-South relations is seen as a departure from the norm.