North Korea: We're Sending in the Troops

Country vows to resume military exercises, reestablish guard posts near southern border
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2020 8:24 AM CDT
North Korea: We're Sending in the Troops
South Korean Marines patrol on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, on Wednesday.   (Kim In-chul/Yonhap via AP)

South Korea's unification minister is offering to resign a day after North Korea blew up the joint liaison office on its side of the border and accused its neighbor of acting like a "mongrel dog." Kim Yeon-chul put forth his resignation while claiming responsibility for worsening relations between the two countries, though it remains unclear if President Moon Jae-in will accept his offer, per the BBC and AP. The North said Tuesday's explosion, perhaps "a prelude to the total catastrophe of the North-South relations," was in response to the South "systemically breaching and destroying" 2018 agreements, which saw the end of live-fire exercises and the destruction of guard posts along the border. It then said it would violate those agreements in sending troops into disarmed areas just north of the border, re-erecting guard posts, and resuming military exercises.

The North also said it would resume sending anti-Seoul leaflets across the border. Earlier this month, the North cut all communication with the South while railing against anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent into the North by activists. Meanwhile, Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said she'd rejected an offer from the South to send special envoys to ease tensions. She also accused Moon of "pro-US flunkeyism," per Reuters. South Korea expressed regret at the North's plans while warning of a "strong response" to military provocation. At NBC News, David Maxwell and Mathew Ha of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies argue that Pyongyang is "using force to ratchet up the fear factor to try to extort concessions." They suggest Seoul and Washington resume joint military exercises and "deploy strategic assets ... to maintain deterrence." (More South Korea stories.)

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