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N. Korea rebuilds destroyed guard posts inside DMZ with concrete

2024-07-13 21:37:22      点击:012
North Korean soldiers are spotted near a guard post inside the Demilitarized Zone in this <strong></strong>photo released on Nov. 17, 2023. Courtesy of Defense Ministry

North Korean soldiers are spotted near a guard post inside the Demilitarized Zone in this photo released on Nov. 17, 2023. Courtesy of Defense Ministry

North Korea appears to be rebuilding all of its destroyed guard posts inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas with concrete structures, a military source said Friday.

Last November, the North began rebuilding the guard posts with wooden material after scrapping a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement designed to reduce tensions along the border, according to Seoul's defense officials.

"We have detected that North Korea has built concrete guard posts at the destroyed guard post (sites)," the source said, without providing further details.

The latest move suggests that North Korea could operate the guard posts on a full scale, such as the deployment of more heavy firearms and troops.

As part of the 2018 deal signed under former liberal President Moon Jae-in, the two Koreas demolished 10 guard posts inside the DMZ each and disarmed an additional one each, leaving the North with some 150 guard posts and South Korea with 67 of them.

North Korea, however, vowed to restore all military measures halted under the agreement after Seoul partially suspended the deal in protest of the North's successful launch of its first military spy satellite on Nov. 21.

The South Korean military also detected North Korean troops installing mines on two rare roads that had connected the two Koreas' eastern and western areas, once regarded as the symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation and exchanges, according to the source.

The Gyeongui land route connects South Korea's Paju to a now-shuttered joint industrial complex in North Korea's western border city of Kaesong. The road is not being used after Seoul shut down the Kaesong complex in 2016 in response to North Korea's nuclear and missile tests.

North Korea is also believed to have set up electronic barbed wire around its side of the Donghae road along the eastern coast.

Military authorities believe North Korea apparently intends to install landmines in a bid to completely shut down the roads.

The South Korean military has also detected the North conducting drills with new-type drones, including the Morning Star-4 unveiled last year, with South Korean officials suspecting that they are intended for possible future provocations.

Meanwhile, South Korean warships operating near the maritime border in the Yellow Sea have also reportedly removed covers of naval guns in an apparent corresponding response to North Korea's increased opening of gunports on its northwestern coastline.

The guns of warships near the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border, had been covered under the 2018 military agreement.

Tensions have recently heightened after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un defined inter-Korean ties as relations "between two states hostile to each other" and ordered preparations "to suppress the whole territory" of South Korea in a contingency at a year-end ruling party meeting. (Yonhap)

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