DPRK restationing troops on S.Korea border after 'spy balloon' tension
A wooden guard post in the Demilitarized Zone is being put up by four DPRK soldiers, as claimed by South Korean military, after breaking the 2018 border pact.
South Korea's military said on Monday that the DPRK has restationed troops at its southern border which were taken down under a 2018 agreement with South Korea, after an alleged spy satellite raised tensions on the peninsula.
Last week, South Korea partially suspended the 2018 agreement that was meant to ease border tensions, prompting the DPRK to rid of the pact entirely and warn it would "never be bound" by the deal again.
The DPRK explicitly stated, "From now on, our army will never be bound by the September 19 North-South Military Agreement." It further declared the withdrawal of military steps that were initially implemented to prevent tension and conflict across various domains, including ground, sea, and air.
AFP was told by a military official on Monday that the DPRK recently sent armed personnel and equipment to restation the troops while Yonhap news agency reported that the troops "seen rebuilding the guard posts from Friday" with all 11 posts withdrawn expected to be restored.
A photo posted by South Korea's military shows a wooden guard post in the Demilitarized Zone being put up by four DPRK soldiers.
In addition, "surveillance and reconnaissance assets" were deployed to the border by South Korea following the border scare, with its military calling it an "essential measure" for defense against nuclear-armed DPRK's threats.
'Maximize surprise factor'
The DPRK responded by saying that it intends to "deploy more powerful armed forces and new-type military hardware in the region along the Military Demarcation Line" between the two nations.
#BREAKING: South Korea has detected increased activity at the DMZ.— Global: Military-Info (@Global_Mil_Info) November 27, 2023
North Korea has deployed additional troops and equipment to the DMZ.
Heavily armed North Korean troops were also seen restoring guard posts that were originally destroyed under the 2018 inter-Korean military… pic.twitter.com/b6JKgTZGOj
On Tuesday, a rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from North Phyongan and "accurately put the reconnaissance satellite 'Malligyong-1' in its orbit," state-run news agency KCNA reported.
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un witnessed the blastoff and then proceeded to congratulate the scientists and technicians behind the mission.
The United States was quick to condemn the launch as a "brazen violation" of UN sanctions and said it could destabilize the region.
Tuesday's "launch came hours before its time window notification seems to underscore two things: Pyongyang's confidence in success and intention to maximize surprise factor to the outside world," Choi Gi-il, professor of military studies at Sangji University, told AFP.