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North Korea sends troops to rebuild border guard posts

By AFP
November 28, 2023

SEOUL: North Korea has sent troops to its southern border to restore guard posts taken down under a 2018 agreement with South Korea, Seoul´s military said on Monday, after Pyongyang´s launch of a spy satellite stoked tensions on the peninsula.

In response to the launch last week, Seoul partially suspended the agreement that was aimed at easing border hostilities, prompting Pyongyang to scrap the pact entirely and warn it would “never be bound” by the deal again.

People watch a TV monitor displaying daily news at a station in Seoul, South Korea, 27 November 2023. — EFE-EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN
People watch a TV monitor displaying daily news at a station in Seoul, South Korea, 27 November 2023. — EFE-EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

A South Korean military official told AFP on Monday that Pyongyang had recently sent armed personnel and equipment to restore the guard posts. Yonhap news agency reported that North Korean soldiers were “seen rebuilding the guard posts from Friday”, according to a military official, and that all 11 posts withdrawn under the five-year-old deal were expected to be restored.

One photo released by South Korea´s military shows four North Korean soldiers rebuilding a wooden guard post in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries. North Korea´s accelerated development of its weapons programmes has alarmed Seoul.

South Korea deployed “surveillance and reconnaissance assets” to the border after the satellite launch, in what its military said was an “essential measure” to defend against North Korea´s growing threats.