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'Communication war' with North Korea

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By JeongWon Bourdais Park

Recent aggression from North Korea, the June 2020 demolition of the joint liaison office, has largely evoked public bewilderment rather than fear. This is due to Pyongyang's somewhat deviated communication style, the so-called "good cop, bad cop strategy" towards the South. Prominent commentators, experts and policy makers worldwide have sufficiently exchanged their insights and analyses regarding what North Korea really wants and what reactions to such an act of renewed threat should look like. Here, I instead turn my attention to one micro-aspect of recent events ― "North Korea's prima facie changing communication tactics."

The demolition of the Gaeseong joint liaison office ― a symbol of renewed inter-Korean collaboration ― was a provocative and fiendish incident. There are multitudinous complications underneath it: prolonged punitive sanctions, a fatal drop in trade with China due to COVID-19 and its consequent economic hardship, and the tottering Trump administration resulting in the loss of a negotiation partner.

Above all, what could fundamentally and briskly convulse the fragile regime is a large-scale social disturbance due to accumulated discontent from the grassroots. Then the influx of unfiltered information through the balloon campaign (scattering propaganda leaflets) from South to North could be "crucial" (in conveying the organization's........

© The Korea Times