South Korea warns North Korea not to repeat armistice violation

November 27, 2017 2:25 am
South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo visits a spot where a North Korean defector crossed the border on November 13, at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone, South , November 27, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Seoul has warned Pyongyang against violations of an armistice agreement between the two sides, several days after North Korean border guards shot and seriously wounded a fellow soldier as he defected across the border into the South.
South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo said Monday that the North’s troops committed several violations of the agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War during the shooting incident, and that it must not do so again.
“Shooting towards the South at a defecting person, that’s a violation of the armistice agreement. Crossing the military demarcation line (MDL) is a violation. Carrying automatic rifles (in the Joint Security Area), is another violation,” Song said.
Some two weeks ago, the 25-year-old North Korean soldier, identified by his surname Oh, defected to the South by crossing the heavily-protected Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas.
The North Korean military opened fire as he was trying to escape. The defector was critically wounded, but managed to cross the border. He was later found by South Korean soldiers under a pile of leaves.
Oh is now in a stable condition after undergoing operations to treat his wounds.
The South Korean defense chief issued the warning during a visit to the DMZ, where he commended the soldiers for saving the North Korean.
North Korean soldiers stare at South Korean soldiers at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas on November 27, 2017 during a visit by Seoul’s defense chief Song Young-moo. (Photo by AFP)
The North has not publicly responded to the defection at the sensitive border; however, South Korean lawmaker Kim Young-woo said Pyongyang has replaced nearly all the soldiers along the frontier.
has reportedly replaced its border guards, dug a trench and planted trees to further fortify the border.
The defection of a North Korean soldier comes at a time of heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea is under all sorts of politico-economic pressure by the international community to stop its nuclear and missile programs. Pyongyang has, however, resisted the mounting pressure, voicing its deep distrust of its enemies.
Pyongyang says it will not stop the development of its nuclear and missile programs as a defense mechanism against potential foreign aggression.
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