January 21, 2021

North Korea blew up the liaison office. Can the South Korean government sue?

Experts say filing a lawsuit against the North is “theoretically possible.” But there are several boxes to be ticked.

Last July, North Korea blew up the Inter-Korean joint liaison office, reigniting the debate over a legal conundrum: Can South Korea hold North Korea legally responsible for its actions?

Months later, Seoul is still largely divided over that question. Last week, South Korea’s minister of unification began floating the idea of rebuilding the office once more — all while conservative lawmakers like defector-politician Thae Yong-ho repeatedly advocate for filing a legal claim against the North at an international court.