NHK reported on its website that Foreign Minister Kono expressed the intention to split his ministry’s Northeast Asia Division into two divisions, one for North Korea and the other for South Korea, in response to the recent increased activity related to North Korea. According to the network, MOFA’s Northeast Asia Division, which is in charge of the Korean Peninsula, has been collecting information on the recent activity related to North Korea as it begins to reach out to South Korea and China. Kono reportedly said it has become difficult for one division to handle both North and South Korea given the increased workload related to North Korea and expressed the intention to split the division into two. According to the network, the ministry is planning to establish a First Northeast Asia Division to be in charge of South Korea and Japan-ROK cooperation and a Second Northeast Asia Division to be in charge of North Korea and Japan-DPRK relations. The network said the ministry is planning to officially launch the new divisions as early as this summer.