SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country would no longer pursue reconciliation with South Korea and called for rewriting the North's constitution to eliminate the idea of shared statehood between the war-divided countries, state media said Tuesday.
The historic step to discard a decades-long pursuit of a peaceful unification, which was based on a sense of national homogeneity shared by both Koreas, comes amid heightened tensions where the pace of both Kim's weapons development and the South's military exercises with the United States have intensified in a tit-for-tat.
Some experts say Kim could be aiming to diminishing South Korea's voice in regional security matters and communicate more clearly that he would seek to deal directly with the United States over the nuclear standoff, which has deepened amid disagreements over the stringent U.S.-led sanctions over his growing nuclear weapons program.
Declaring the South as a permanent adversary, not as a potential partner for reconciliation, could also be part of efforts to improve the credibility of Kim's escalatory nuclear doctrine, which authorizes the military to launch preemptive nuclear attacks against adversaries if it perceives the leadership in Pyongyang as under threat.
The North Korean steps come as Kim has been actively boosting his partnerships with Moscow and Beijing as he attempts to break out of diplomatic isolation and…