Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Huge monument in North Korea demolished after Kim Jong Un’s angry speech

Kim Jong Un called the monument an ‘eyesore’

Jack Kim
Tuesday 23 January 2024 18:43 GMT
South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung stabbed in neck as he speaks to reporters

North Korea has demolished a major monument in its capital that symbolized the goal of reconciliation with South Korea on the orders of leader Kim Jong Un, who last week called the rival a “primary foe” and said unification was no longer possible.

Satellite imagery of Pyongyang on Tuesday showed that the monument, an arch symbolizing hopes for Korean reunification which was completed after a landmark inter-Korea summit in 2000, was no longer there, according to a report by NK News, an online outlet that monitors North Korea.

Reuters could not independently confirm that the monument, known informally as the Arch of Reunification, had been demolished.

An arch symbolizing hopes for Korean reunification which was completed after a landmark inter-Korea summit in 2000 (Getty Images)

Kim called the monument an “eyesore” in a speech at the Supreme People’s Assembly on Jan. 15, where he ordered that the constitution be amended to say the South was a “primary foe and invariable principal enemy,” official media said.

Tensions have spiked on the Korean peninsula following intensifying military manoeuvres by the South Korean and U.S. militaries in response to weapons testing by the North, which said it was readying for a “nuclear war” with its enemies.

The arch, formally known as the Monument to the Three Charters for National Reunification, stood 30 meters tall and was symbolic of the three charters, which were self-reliance, peace and national cooperation, according to South Korean government records.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol who took office in 2022 has taken a hard line against the North, calling for immediate and tough responses to North Korea’s military actions that have raised tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The arch has been destroyed (AP)

North Korea has vowed to “wipe out” the South if attacked by the South and U.S. forces. Late last year, the North declared as no longer valid a key agreement signed with the South in 2018 aimed at de-escalating military tensions.

Following Kim‘s speech last week, the North’s assembly abolished key government agencies that have been instrumental to decades of exchanges with Seoul.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in