Seoul Says North Korea Rebuilding Guard Posts, Placing Firearms Along Border

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
November 28, 2023Asia & Pacific
Seoul Says North Korea Rebuilding Guard Posts, Placing Firearms Along Border
North Korean soldiers install their guard post in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in North Korea in this undated photo released on Nov. 27, 2023. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

South Korea’s defense ministry said on Monday that North Korea has begun rebuilding guard posts and deploying firearms along the border as tensions rise following the North’s recent spy satellite launch.

The ministry said it detected movements indicating the reconstruction of North Korean guard posts on Nov. 24, just a day after Pyongyang vowed to restore “all military measures” previously halted under a 2018 inter-Korean accord.

South Korean defense officials disclosed photographs depicting North Korean troops installing guard posts equipped with what appeared to be recoilless guns along the border, Yonhap News Agency reported.

“Before destroying the [guard posts], there were observation posts, and they are presumed to be rebuilding them. It was made of white wood and painted with a camouflage pattern,” a defense official told reporters.

“There are only a few guard posts currently undergoing restoration work, but the North is expected to restore all of them as they are essential facilities for surveillance,” the official added.

South Korea’s military would closely monitor North Korea’s “provocative acts” while maintaining its “full readiness” to retaliate in the event of any provocations, the official noted.

US Urges North Korea to Return to Diplomacy

The United States has urged North Korea to immediately cease its “provocative actions,” saying that these actions could only escalate the risk of military tensions and miscalculations on the Korean Peninsula.

“In light of these developments, the United States remains in close and continual contact with the ROK through multiple channels to ensure that our alliance remains in lockstep,” a State Department official told Yonhap News Agency, referring to South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.

“The door has not closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must immediately cease its provocative actions and instead choose engagement,” the official added.

The two Koreas previously dismantled or disarmed 11 of their guard posts inside their heavily fortified border, called the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), under a 2018 deal meant to ease front-line military confrontations.

The accord required the two nations to halt aerial surveillance and live-fire exercises at no-fly and buffer zones established along the DMZ, as well as remove some of their guard posts and land mines. The deal left South Korea with 50 board guard posts and North Korea with 150.

However, the deal is now in danger of being scrapped as both countries openly threaten to breach it.

South Korea has suspended part of the accord that limits its reconnaissance and surveillance operations along the DMZ after North Korea defied warnings against launching a spy satellite into orbit.

Defense chief Shin Won-sik said the South Korean government took “a minimal defensive measure” because North Korea’s space launch demonstrated that it has “no will to abide by the military agreement.”

NTD Photo
This photo provided by the North Korean regime shows what it says is a launch of the newly developed Chollima-1 rocket carrying the Malligyong-1 satellite at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongch’ang-ri, North Korea, on May 31, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Satellite Transmits Images of White House, Pentagon

The spy satellite, dubbed Malligyong-1, was launched into orbit on Nov. 21. Pyongyang said the space rocket launch was successful and received aerospace images of major U.S. military bases in Guam.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un received aerospace images of the White House and the Pentagon, which were taken at 11.36 p.m. local time on Nov. 27.

The satellite also transmitted aerospace photos of the Norfolk Naval Station, Newport News Dockyard, and the Virginia airfield located in the United States, the report said.

“Four U.S. Navy nuclear carriers and one British aircraft carrier were spotted in the photos of the Norfolk Naval Station and the Newport News Dockyard,” the news outlet stated.

This marked North Korea’s third launch after two failed attempts on May 31 and Aug. 24.

Japan has strongly condemned the launch, calling it “an extremely problematic act.”

“This is a serious issue affecting the safety of the people. Japan has lodged a strong protest against North Korea and condemned it in the strongest terms,” Japan’s defense ministry said.

The foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the High Representative of the European Union issued a joint statement on Nov. 22, saying they condemn “in the strongest terms” North Korea’s space launch.

They said the launch posed “a grave threat” to the region and violated the United Nations Security Council Resolutions prohibiting North Korea from launching any ballistic missile technology.

“North Korea cannot and will never have the status of a nuclear-weapon State under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” the statement reads.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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