North Korea Installing Border Guard Posts

North Korea Installing Border Guard Posts

( – On November 22, North Korean state media reported that Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the successful launch of a reconnaissance satellite. Later that day, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo’s cabinet approved the partial suspension of a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement (the Panmunjom Declaration) aimed at building trust and reducing tension in the region. Recent reports indicated that North Korea’s (DPRK’s) military quickly responded by reimplementing border security measures.

On November 27, reports revealed that DPRK officials were seen restoring several guard posts scattered throughout the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a patch of land running along the 38th parallel north that separates North and South Korea.

Eleven border posts closed after the signing of the Panmunjom Declaration, which also prohibited live-fire exercises and aerial reconnaissance missions.

On November 27, the South Korean-based Yonhap News Agency reported that the country’s Ministry of National Defense had released photographs showing DPRK troops installing temporary guard posts inside the DMZ. The images show sentinels standing next to recoilless guns, a portable launcher, or a lightweight artillery system.

The Defense Ministry also issued a press release on November 27, detailing its position on the recent saber-rattling between the two nations. The statement explained that although administration officials agreed to suspend Article 1, Section 3 of the Panmunjom Declaration on November 22, DPRK officials declared its “complete abandonment” of the agreement the following day. Additionally, the statement accused North Korea of “taking steps to restore some military measures” prohibited by the declaration, beginning on November 24.

South Korean officials concluded the statement by advising their neighbor that they were “keeping a close watch on North Korea’s provocations and [were] fully prepared” to strike back at a moment’s notice. They also warned that they were “fully prepared to… implement countermeasures” against its neighbor’s efforts to restore measures prohibited under the 2018 agreement, an apparent reference to the DPRK’s decision to restore guard posts.

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