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.
“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.
US Urges North Korea to Return to DiplomacyThe 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.
“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.
Satellite Transmits Images of White House, PentagonThe 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 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.
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.