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Cheong Wa Dae convenes top security meeting to discuss N. Korea's demolition of liaison office

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)

Cheong Wa Dae convened an emergency meeting of top security officials Tuesday, hours after North Korea demolished the inter-Korean liaison office in its border town of Kaesong.

Presided over by Chung Eui-yong, director of the national security office at the presidential office, the National Security Council (NSC) meeting opened at 5:05 p.m., Cheong Wa Dae said. The meeting brought together top security officials, including the foreign, unification and defense ministers, as well as the national intelligence chief.

At the meeting, the officials were expected to discuss details of the latest action by North Korea and Seoul's response to it.

President Moon Jae-in was not part of the meeting. Moon has not presided over a plenary NSC session since March last year, shortly after the North Korea-US summit meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam ended without results. 

Two previous NSC sessions this month also did not include Moon, including the last meeting held on Sunday.

According to the defense and unification ministries, North Korea blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in its border town of Kaesong at 2:49 p.m.

Later on Tuesday, the North's Korean Central News Agency confirmed that it "completely ruined" the liaison office to force South Korea "to pay dearly for their crimes."

The explosion took place three days after Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, warned that the North will demolish the "useless" communication office in protest of Seoul's "failure" to stop activists from sending anti-North Korean leaflets into the country.

Last week, North Korea also threatened to cut off all communication lines with South Korea and has since been out of touch with the South. (Yonhap)