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North Korea Plants Mines on Roads Connecting North and South Korea

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North Korea planted mines on all connecting roads in North and South Korea.

Military officials from North and South Korea, participating in the road linking work for joint excavation, are seen exchanging greetings near the military demarcation line in the central front on November 22, 2018. [Photo=Ministry of Defense]

According to the military on the 29th, North Korea planted mines on the tactical road within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) near Hwasalmeori Hill in Cheorwon County, Gangwon Province, around the end of last year. This road was constructed to conduct joint excavation of remains according to the 2018 9.19 military agreement between North Korea and South Korea.

During construction, pictures were taken of soldiers from North and South Korea meeting and shaking hands with the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). North Korea did not respond to the joint excavation afterward.

The military captured North Korea planting mines on the Gyeongui Line road connected in 2004 and the Donghae Line road opened in 2005 last January. Dozens of streetlights being dismantled were also confirmed this month. In other words, mines have been planted on all three connecting roads between North Korea and South Korea, including the Gyeongui Line, Donghae Line, and Hwasalmeori Hill tactical road.

This is interpreted as an effort to completely sever the physical connections after Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, declared the relationship between North Korea and South Korea as two warring countries in his New Year’s address this January.

Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of North Korea, was reported by the Korean Central Television on the 10th to have recently guided key military factories. January 10, 2023 [Photo=Korean Central TV]

In his New Year’s address, Chairman Kim directed that “step by step strict measures should be taken to thoroughly separate all North Korea-South Korea link conditions in the border areas, and to completely physically sever the sections of the Gyeongui Line on our side, which existed as a symbol of North Korea-South Korea exchange and cooperation, to an irrecoverable level.

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