KOREA NEWS Defense chief warns N. Korea of 'hell of destruction'...

Defense chief warns N. Korea of ‘hell of destruction’ in event of reckless acts

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SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s defense chief warned North Korea on Wednesday only a “hell of destruction” awaits the country if it carries out “reckless” actions amid heightened tensions after Pyongyang scrapped a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement.

Defense Minister Shin Won-sik made the warning during a meeting of top military commanders after the North vowed last month to restore all military measures halted under the pact designed to reduce tensions and prevent clashes along the border.

“North Korea has only two choices — peace or destruction,” Shin said. “If North Korea makes reckless actions that harm peace, only a hell of destruction awaits them.”

Last month, Pyongyang scrapped the 2018 agreement after Seoul partially suspended the deal in protest of the North’s launch of its first military spy satellite on Nov. 21.

The agreement called for measures to reduce tensions and prevent accidental clashes, such as banning military drills and maneuvers near the land and sea borders, disarming the Joint Security Area (JSA) at the truce village of Panmunjom and withdrawing guard posts inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas.

Since scrapping the accord, the North has begun reinstalling guard posts and deploying heavy arms within the DMZ, according to the South’s defense ministry. North Korean soldiers in the JSA have been seen carrying pistols, according to people familiar with the matter.

This file photo, taken Nov. 23, 2023, shows Defense Minister Shin Won-sik at the National Assembly in western Seoul. (Yonhap)

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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