N. Korea erases image of Korean Peninsula from major websites


SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) — North Korea has erased an image of the Korean Peninsula, viewed as a unification reference, from its major websites, as its leader Kim Jong-un has called South Korea the North’s “primary foe” and vowed not to seek unification with the South.

As of Monday, the red-colored image of the Korean Peninsula had been deleted from the upper side of the website of the Foreign Trade of the DPRK, a website created to promote North Korea’s trade and attract investments.

A similar image has also been dropped from the front page of the website of Publications of the DPRK, a foreign language publishing house.

The move comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has defined inter-Korean ties as relations between “two states hostile to each other” during a year-end party meeting.

This image (top half), captured from the website of North Korea's Foreign Trade of the DPRK on Feb. 19, 2024, shows a red-colored image of the Korean Peninsula deleted from the upper side of the website. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

This image (top half), captured from the website of North Korea’s Foreign Trade of the DPRK on Feb. 19, 2024, shows a red-colored image of the Korean Peninsula deleted from the upper side of the website. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

In a key parliamentary meeting in January, Kim called for revising the country’s constitution to define South Korea as the North’s “primary foe” and “invariable principal enemy” and to codify a commitment to “suppress” South Korean territory in the event of war.

Last month, North Korea’s state-run broadcasting station aired a map that highlights only the northern part of the Korean Peninsula in red, a move seen as its push to drop references to unification.

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported last week that North Korea has dropped a phrase symbolizing a unified Korea from the lyrics of its national anthem.

The lyrics, uploaded on the website of North Korea’s foreign ministry, did not have the phrase “three thousand ri,” which refers to the length of the whole territory of the Korean Peninsula, around 1,200 kilometers, spanning from the northern tip of North Korea to the southern resort island of Jeju.

Seoul’s unification ministry on Friday voiced regret over the North’s move, lamenting it as an “anti-national” act.

This image (top half), captured from the website of Publications of the DPRK on Feb. 19, 2024, shows an image of the Korean Peninsula deleted from the website. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

This image (top half), captured from the website of Publications of the DPRK on Feb. 19, 2024, shows an image of the Korean Peninsula deleted from the website. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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