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Seoul Says North Korea Restores Border Guard Posts as Tensions Rise Over Satellite Launch

Voice of America News reports: “North Korea is restoring front-line guard posts that it had dismantled during a previous period of inter-Korean rapprochement, South Korea’s military said Monday, after animosities spiked between the rivals over the North’s recent spy satellite launch.

The two Koreas previously dismantled or disarmed 11 of their guard posts inside their heavily fortified border, called the Demilitarized Zone, under a 2018 deal meant to ease front-line military confrontations. But the deal is now in danger of being scrapped as both Koreas openly threaten to breach it.

The 2018 agreement required the two Koreas to halt aerial surveillance and live-fire exercises at no-fly and buffer zones that they established along the DMZ, as well as remove some of their front-line guard posts and land mines. The deal left South Korea with 50 board guard posts and North Korea with 150.

After North Korea claimed to place its first military spy satellite into orbit on Nov. 21, South Korea said it would partially suspend the deal and resume aerial surveillance along the DMZ in response. South Korea said its response was ‘a minimum defensive measure’ because the launch showed the North’s intentions to strengthen its monitoring of the South and improve its missile technology.

North Korea immediately slammed South Korea’s decision, saying it would deploy powerful weapons at the border in a tit-for-tat measure. The North said it also won’t abide by the 2018 deal any longer…”

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