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Quoted: Washington Post on North Korea Withdrawal from Liaison Office

The Washington Post: North Korea Pulls out of Liaison Office With the South in Blow to Warming Ties

“The North Koreans are masters of public pressure, and it’s clear they have decided that is what is necessary at the moment for both the United States and South Korea,” said Mintaro Oba, a speechwriter at West Wing Writers and a former diplomat at the State Department’s Korea desk.

Oba said the withdrawal from the office does not mean the “broader process” is falling apart and could be a tactic intended to put pressure on Seoul and Washington for concessions. But Oba said there was also a risk that hard-liners are “taking the wheel” in Pyongyang after Hanoi, with the failure of that summit potentially undermining the domestic leverage of proponents of dialogue. “We don’t know the answers, but these are important potential factors to consider.”

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