The chances for peace on the Korean Peninsula have suffered another, although not necessarily fatal, setback.
In a harshly worded statement Friday, Kim Jong Un’s North Korean regime formally announced that it is breaking off all talks with South Korea.
The talks, which were announced with much fanfare after an April 2018 meeting between Kim and South Korean president Moon Jae-in, have effectively been on hold since March. But technically, the so-called Panmunjom Declaration agreed to by the two Koreas was still in play. Now that no longer seems to be the case.
“Implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration is now at a deadlock,” the North said in a statement attributed to its Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country.
“We have nothing to talk about any more with the South Korean authorities, nor have we any idea to sit down with them again.”
The North said it couldn’t take Moon’s peace overtures seriously while South Korea continued to hold joint military exercises with the U.S. In particular, it mocked a conciliatory speech that Moon gave Thursday in which he called for another round of talks between Kim and U.S. president Donald Trump, as well as the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula by 2045.
These remarks, the North said, were so hypocritical that they would make “the boiled head of a cow provoke side-splitting laughter.” Moon, the statement went on to say, “is indeed an impudent guy, rare to be found.”
North Korea is famous for its invective. It is also famous for making rhetorical U turns — as it has done with Trump whom it once called a “dotard” but now praises.