Despite years of tensions, a majority of South Koreans have long clung to a cautiously optimistic vision for their peninsula’s future. Even if North and South Korea weren’t one day unified, the thinking went, the countries would at least be connected by joint business ventures and rail lines, with some there even traveling on weekends to resorts in the North’s mountainsides.

But for many South Koreans, the recent weeks of fury from Pyongyang, and in particular the barricade of a joint industrial park near the border, has driven home a different conclusion: The South is better off keeping its distance from the North than cooperating with it or even trying to.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.