S Korea Claims Pyongyang Intensifies Activities Near Border: Reports
15:52 16.11.2014(updated 16:08 16.11.2014)
According to an unnamed government source, South Korea has broadcast warning messages toward the North on 'about 60 occasions' this year. South Korean troops did not fire a warning shot across the border in 2013, but had to so 'five to six times' in 2014.
MOSCOW, November 16 (Sputnik) — North Korean military have increased reconnaissance activities near the intensively guarded border in 2014 from the previous year, provoking more warning broadcasts and shots from South Korea, Yonhap news agency reported Sunday citing an unnamed government source.
'North Korea has increased its reconnaissance in the demilitarized zone since last month,' the source said. 'The South Korean military is analyzing the North's intention behind it.'
According to the source, South Korea has broadcast warning messages toward the North on 'about 60 occasions' this year. South Korean troops did not fire a warning shot across the border in 2013, but had to so 'five to six times' in 2014.
Recently, 10 North Korean soldiers came 'a few feet south' of the military demarcation line (MDL), which was established by the armistice that marked the end of the Korean War in 1953 and stretches for about 250 kilometers. They reportedly took pictures of signposts. In response, South Korea fired warning shots, but there was no exchange of fire.
Last month, the rivals exchanged fire after soldiers from North Korea drew near the MDL.
According to a military official, the North has been sending about 10 soldiers at a time to check up on signs that mark the MDL.
On Saturday, North Korea condemned South Korea for launching warning shots at its soldiers and claimed Seoul will have to pay for 'provocations'.
Furthermore, on Sunday, Pyongyang blasted Seoul for seeking to purchase PAC-3 interceptor missiles from the US, warning it will counter the move with enhanced nuclear deterrence.
According to Yonhap, South Korea is seeking to buy PAC-3 missiles to upgrade its present PAC-2 air defense system by 2020, to strengthen its defense against North Korea. PAC-3 interceptors are also a key element of the plan to build the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system.
Early this month, Washington approved the PAC-3 systems and related equipment for a price tag of $1.41 billion. The PAC-3 is capable to intercept missiles at an altitude of under 40 kilometers.
'The US sale is a prelude to Washington's move to put South Korea under its missile defense system,' said the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, an organ of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea as cited by Yonhap. 'The weapons sale will push North Korea to the path of further strengthening nuclear deterrence.'
The newspaper also stressed that the expansion of the US missile defense system will trigger an arms race in the Northeast Asia.
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