Many Korea watchers speculated that once joint military drills ended, so would increased tensions with North Korea. But at least one analyst says this might be the moment the North lashes out again.
The last tangible thread of cooperation between Pyongyang and Seoul was cut today, with South Korea announcing it would pull the remaining workers from a sprawling factory complex in the North.
North Korea's decision to pull its workers from Kaesong industrial park coincides with speculation that it could carry out a missile test.
The US is responding to North Korea's bombast as if Pyongyang is capable of making good on its recent threats. Tensions have risen against the backdrop of annual US-South Korean military drills.
Pyongyang has cut the last military hotline to the South and says it's ready to target US bases in Hawaii, Guam, and South Korea. So why is there no sign the North is really girding for war?
Computer networks at major South Korean banks and top TV broadcasters crashed en masse Wednesday, paralyzing bank machines across the country. Immediate suspicion fell on North Korea.
Skepticism about the effect of the North's dismissal of a cease-fire is grounded in past experience.
This follows threats from Pyongyang last week both to end the armistice and to 'exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack.'
The UN Security Council is expected today to approve a new round of sanctions against Pyongyang in response to its nuclear weapon test last month.
North Korea's military is vowing to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that effectively ended the Korean War, straining frayed ties in the region as the UN moves to impose new sanctions.
In a historic moment of coincidence, new leaders are taking the helm in China, Japan, and South Korea, providing an unprecedented moment for the region to refresh relations.