A major monument dedicated to peace and the possibility of reunification between North Korea and South Korea appears to have been demolished under the orders of Kim Jong Un.
Mr Kim recently vowed to launch new spy satellites, build military drones and boost his nuclear arsenal, saying US policy was making war inevitable.
Last week, he described South Korea as a “primary foe” and said unification was no longer possible.
Satellite imagery of Pyongyang on Tuesday showed the Arch of Reunification, which symbolised hopes for Korean reunification after a landmark inter-Korea summit in 2000, was no longer there, according to a report by NK News, an online outlet that monitors North Korea.
Mr Kim called the monument an “eyesore” in a speech at the Supreme People’s Assembly last week and ordered that the constitution be amended to describe South Korea as the “invariable principal enemy”.
The arch, formally known as the Monument to the Three Charters for National Reunification, stood 30 metres tall and was symbolic of the three charters, which were self-reliance, peace and national cooperation, according to South Korean government records.
News of the reported demolition of the monument comes as North Korea fired multiple cruise missiles towards the sea off its west coast on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s military.
South Korea’s defence minister, Shin Won-sik, condemned the launches as a serious threat to his country.
During a visit to a stealth fighter jet unit, he warned that the North Korean leader’s regime would face its demise if it started a war.
“If Kim Jong Un makes the worst choice and starts a war, you as an invisible force that protects South Korea should become the vanguard in removing the leadership of the enemy as soon as possible,” he said.