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N. Korea reposts troops and artillery in 11 GP

Posted November. 28, 2023 07:56,   

Updated November. 28, 2023 07:56


North Korea has swiftly reactivated 11 strategic observation posts (GPs) along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). They had been previously withdrawn from the spots adhering to the terms of the inter-Korean military accord signed on September 19. Troop presence and artillery have been reintroduced, marking a sudden remilitarization of the Joint Security Area (JSA) in Panmunjom. This move comes on the heels of North Korea's Ministry of Defense announcement on the 23rd, officially annulling the September 19 agreement and launching subsequent military actions toward the South. In response, our military is taking measures such as deploying artillery to GPs and fortifying the border stance along the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), heightening tensions in the forward regions.

On Monday, the South Korean military disclosed that North Korean forces have been redeploying troops and artillery to the 11 GPs within the DMZ, which were vacated under the terms of the September 19 agreement (10 destroyed, 1 preserved) since last Friday. The North Korean military is said to have established makeshift observation posts on the previously demolished GP sites, positioning recoilless rifles near the GP boundaries. The military released four photos captured by surveillance cameras and thermal imaging devices, showcasing North Korean soldiers on night duty.

These images relate to North Korean GPs, including one in the central-eastern front, that were withdrawn in November 2018 under the terms of the September 19 agreement. "Restoration efforts are underway at all 11 North Korean GPs, including this location,” a military official said.

In response, the ROK military is gearing up to import K-3 and K-6 medium machine guns into its GPs opposite those being reinstated by North Korea, and to install prefabricated surveillance posts and barbed wire fences. Kim Myung-soo, the newly appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with reporters on the same day, stating, "We will take prompt measures in response."

Upon his return on Monday, President Yoon Suk Yeol was briefed by Minister of National Defense Shin Won-sik and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Kim Myung-soo on the North Korean military situation. President Yoon underscored, "Maintain vigilant monitoring of North Korea's actions and sustain a robust military readiness posture to reassure the public." This message was conveyed by spokesperson Lee Do-woon.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com