South Korea plans restoring disarmed guard post on eastern front: sources

    WORLD  29 November 2023 - 10:00

    The South Korean military is considering restoring a disarmed guard post on the eastern front in a tit-for-tat response to North Korea's latest move to rebuild its own and redeploy weapons in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, sources said on November 29.

    South and North Korea demolished 10 guard posts each in the DMZ following a 2018 inter-Korean military tension reduction deal, while leaving one each intact but unarmed given their historical value, Yonhap reports.

    Under the agreement, the guard post in Goseong, some 155 kilometres northeast of Seoul, has been preserved as a cultural heritage property. Aside from the demolished ones, the North and South are known to have 150 and 50 guard posts in the DMZ, respectively.

    The symbolic facility, one of the first guard posts established following the 1950-53 Korean War, could be restored to normal operations as part of South Korea's corresponding measures to North Korea's reinstalling such facilities along the shared border, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

    "Compared with the 10 other destroyed guard posts, the one in Goseong is relatively easy to restore as the facility still remains intact. Moreover, the facility is located in a strategically important region," a military official said on condition of anonymity.

    The South Korean troops have also been preparing equipment for temporary surveillance posts and weapons in response to North Korea's redeployment of troops and heavy arms in the DMZ, according to the sources.

    The latest move comes after Pyongyang vowed to restore all military measures halted under the 2018 deal, after South Korea suspended part of the agreement in protest of North Korea's launch of a military spy satellite.

    According to photos disclosed by the defence ministry, North Korean troops were spotted installing temporary guard posts, carrying what appeared to be recoilless guns and standing guard at night inside the DMZ.

    Seoul officials said they have been closely monitoring North Korea's activities near the border and will take the necessary steps to counter provocations by the North.

    The South Korean military plans to restore guard posts along the inter-Korean border in response to North Korea bringing back troops and weapons to the DMZ, Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo said in an interview with public broadcaster KBS on November 27.

    Caliber.Az

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