Back in 2013, as reported by The Washington Post, an unexpected method of communication became the focal point of heightened tensions between North and South Korea.

North Korea dispatched a fax to South Korea’s defense ministry, conveying a threatening message of “a merciless retaliation without warning” following an anti-North Korean demonstration that had occurred in Seoul. Impressively, this was Pyongyang’s first threat of this kind delivered through a fax.

The real twist to this 2013 tale wasn’t just Pyongyang’s audacious use of the fax machine, but also the rapid reply from the South. Barely a day later, South Korea responded in kind, delivering their own stern message through fax. “We’ve sent a reply vowing to react sternly to any provocations by North Korea,” shared a South Korean defense ministry spokesperson. While the full details of South Korea’s retort weren’t disclosed, the message did ominously promise “resolute punishment” for any provocations from the North.

The 2013 incident revealed an intriguing facet of North Korean strategy: a history of unpredictable and aggressive actions, which, against the odds, successfully deterred more formidable opponents.

In contrast, the economically and militarily superior South Korea, with its significant backing from the U.S., didn’t have a real need to respond via fax. Yet, they chose to, a testament to the unpredictable nature of politics on the Korean peninsula.

This episode, sourced from a 2013 Washington Post report, serves as a vivid reminder of the complexities of diplomacy, the art of posturing, and the unexpected resilience of fax as a communication tool in certain regions.