Treasury, in coordination with the State Department and the U.S. Coast Guard, also updated a North Korea shipping advisory, adding dozens of vessels thought to be doing ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers or exported North Korean coal in violation of sanctions.
South Korean officials hopefully noted their North Korean counterparts did not specify whether their exit from Kaesong is permanent, and they said the Kim regime "will not mind the South remaining" at the liaison office while they await further developments.
Asked if the government views the North's withdrawal as an abrogation of the agreement, Chun said the ministry is taking a wait-and-see approach before judging the situation in haste.
North Korea officials have pulled out from the joint liaison office with South Korea, which opened in the North's border town of Kaesong in September 2018.
While the liaison office was one of the main agreements reached in three summits between Moon and Kim a year ago, Chun said it's too early to say whether North Korea is renegading on the deals.
Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea's Sejong Institute said North Korea may be trying to pressure South Korea to back its position with the United States more strongly. North Korea said it is "pulling out with instructions from the superior authority", according to the ministry. Such a remark is a reaffirmation of another interview, during which he said the US has strong intentions to hold dialogue with the North, only under the precondition that the regime moves first with verifiable steps for denuclearization.
The two Koreas agreed to open the office during a historic April summit between Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ease tensions between the two countries still technically at war.
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The South Korean statement calls the North's decision "regrettable".
Cheong Wa Dae held an emergency meeting of its National Security Council (NSC) shortly after the news broke.
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On Thursday, the Trump administration moved to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang for its continued efforts to build nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Kaesong is also the site of a joint industrial complex both Korean governments have expressed interest in restarting.
"We regret the North's decision", Chun said.
North Korean state media have recently demanded that South Korea distance itself from the US and resume joint economic projects that have been held back by the USA -led sanctions against the North.