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Tuesday, 9 June 2020

North Korea Cuts Communication with South Korea

North Korea Cuts Communication with South Korea

First breakdown in communication since 2018 signals escalated tensions in the heavily armed Korean peninsula. 

In an escalation of the tense situation in Korea, North Korea has cut off communication from the South ostensibly in response to their years-old refusal to crack down on North Korean defectors dropping leaflets from the border.

Representing a threat to the personality cult developed by North Korean propaganda, the leaflet dropping is a point of contention between the two nations that could be interpreted as aiding and abetting insurgents.

However, seeing as days before the shutdown South Korea’s government announced a plan to ban this activity, analysts are speculating this could be about something bigger, and could be a power play.

North Korea Cuts Communication with South Korea


• On 9th June, 2020, North Korea shut down diplomatic communication lines with South Korea. 

• For the first time since 2018 when the two nations restored diplomatic channels, North Korea declined to answer routine calls from the South on their military hotline or through the inter-Korean liaison office. 

• The shutdown of diplomatic channels signifies a rise in tensions between the nuclear armed North and the US-backed South, the likes of which almost devastated the peninsula in 2017.


• North Korea has ostensibly taken such action in response to the failure of South Korea to take concrete action against leaflet dropping, wherein North Korean defectors send balloons carrying 'Anti- Kim' leaflets in North Korea. 

• North Korea's political philosophy - Juche', heavily relies on a 'personality cult' around leaders and former leaders. Using extensive propaganda, the state has brainwashed its people into reverence of the Kim dynasty. 

• This means that leaflet dropping by defectors is an attack on the regime itself, a dangerous opposition in the eyes of the regime


• In the past, South Korea has not taken strict action, believing that the defectors exercise their freedom of speech. 

• However, on the 4th of June, South Korea expressed intent to ban this activity in a hope to ward off North Korea's communication shutdown. 

• Analysts believe that the closure of communication is not in response to the leaflets, but rather that it is a 'power play' to obtain something for the South.


• The Communication cuts Announcement came on tuesday Afternoon on Tv News.

• The order to cut all communications came from: leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong a former military intelligence chief.

• Reason behind this diplomatic decision Seoul has not stopped leaflet-filled balloons being floated over the border.

• Students took part in a rally in Pyongyang last week to denounce defectors who flee to the South

• Sending balloons over the heavily militarised border for years by Activists and defectors in the South.

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