After no official meetings between North and South Korea were counted in 2019, news broke today that the North would shut off all communication with its neighbor. After 2018 had seen the revival of inter-Korean meetings, this is a bitter result, especially given the upcoming 20-year anniversary of the first post-war inter-Korean summit, which took place on June 13-15, 2000, between South Korean President at the time, Kim Dae-jung, and the late Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang.
Current South Korean President Moon Jae-in initially suceeded at furthering the cause of inter-Korean communications. Meetings between the two Korean states intensified in 2018 after a two-year hiatus. According to numbers by the South Korean Ministry of Unification, 36 meetings took place between the North and the South that year, most on political issues.
The most symbolic inter-Korean meeting of 2018 occurred in April when Kim Jong-un stepped across the demarcation line dividing the two Koreas, becoming the first North Korean leader to set in the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953. As Kim shook hands with his South Korean counterpart in the crisp spring air amid the flickering of cameras, he invited the South Korean president to briefly step into the north where both men shook hands again. Both leaders had vowed to "write a new chapter" in the troubled history of the Korean peninsula, but real change seems as far away now than it ever has.
Dialogue between the U.S. and Pyongyang also stalled by mid-2019 after a total of three summits between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un showed the inability to reach a consensus on nuclear disarmament.