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North Koraen Leader Kim Jong Un and sister Kim Yo Jong at the Peace House in Panmunjom, South Korea, in 2018. She warned South Korea could "pay a dear price" for dropping propaganda leaflets in North Korea. Photo: Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images

North Korea "destroyed' a joint liaison office building on its side of the border on Tuesday, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said, per AP.

Details: "North Korea blew up the inter-Korean liaison office" in the border town of Kaesong, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said via text message, according to Bloomberg. Smoke could be seen and "an explosion was heard" in town, Yonhap notes.

Driving the news: The South Korean news agency reported there had been "near-daily threats to punish Seoul over anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets." Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, warned in statements this month via the state-run KCNA news agency that South Korea could "pay a dear price" for its actions.

  • She stepped up her rhetoric on Saturday night, saying: "Before long, a tragic scene of the useless North-South joint liaison office completely collapsed would be seen."
  • North Korean military officials said earlier Tuesday they were studying an "action plan" to enter the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas to "turn the front line into a fortress and further heighten military vigilance against the South," according to KCNA.
  • The North Korean regime "abandoned its operations at the facility that once allowed the rivals to communicate around the clock" about a week ago, per Bloomberg.

Of note: Kim Yo-jong has continued to rise in prominence since working to protect her brother's image in the North Korean regime's propaganda department in 2014, becoming the first member of the ruling family to visit South Korea during the 2018 Winter Olympics since the Korean War in 1950, according to the BBC.

Editor's note: This article and headline have been updated with new details throughout, including to clarify the location of this event.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

Photo: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bernie Madoff, a former investor sentenced to 150 years in prison for perpetrating the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, died Wednesday at age 82, AP reports.

The big picture: Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to a multibillion-dollar scheme that investigators said began in the 1970s and defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries — including high-profile victims like Steven Spielberg, former New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and actor Kevin Bacon, according to CNBC.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - World

John Kerry and China's long road ahead on climate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Brian Snyder/AFP via Getty Images

Yes, special climate envoy John Kerry's really in China and no, don't look for a huge breakthrough between the world's two largest carbon-emitting nations.

Driving the news: The State Department yesterday announced Kerry's visit this week, confirming plans that began emerging Saturday.