Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in on September 19, 2018. Since then, relations between the two Koreas have deteriorated significantly.
But relations between the two Koreas deteriorated to a low point this year after Pyongyang's launch of a spy satellite prompted Seoul to partially suspend a 2018 military deal aimed at defuse tensions.
At the end of a meeting of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in late December, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the acceleration of military preparations for a war that could be triggered at any time on the peninsula.
He had also accused the United States, in a long speech, of various types of military threats and ordered its armed forces to maintain a capacity overwhelming response to the war.
At the party meeting, the leader said he no longer seeks reconciliation and reunification with South Korea, highlighting the persistent and uncontrollable crisis situation that he said was triggered by Seoul and Washington.
Open in full screen mode
A Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile is launched in North Korea, December 18, 2023.
In 2023, North Korea conducted a record number of ballistic missile tests, in violation of numerous UN resolutions prohibiting it.
The country also enshrined its status as a nuclear power in its Constitution, and successfully tested the Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) the most powerful in its arsenal, capable of reaching the United States.