North Korea announced on Wednesday that it is no longer seeking reunification with South Korea, citing a “fundamentally different ideological and social systems.” In a statement, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said that the country will instead focus on building up its own system of socialism and launch new spy satellites in 2024 as part of that effort.
The announcement comes amid rising tensions between the two Koreas in the wake of North Korea’s repeated military provocations and its failure to demonstrate tangible steps towards its denuclearization commitments. South Korea has responded by reinforcing its defensive posture and strengthening its sanctions.
The statement also follows the Kim Jong Un-led nation’s refocused effort to modernize its weapons and defenses, which have included frequent missile testing.
The long-time adversaries remain technically in a state of war, although relations have improved somewhat in recent months. Despite the current situation, Secretary of Unification of South Korea, Lee In-young, said recently that South Korea remains open to the possibility of dialogue with North Korea.