World Bulletin / News Desk
South Korea’s presidential office asked North Korea on Tuesday to “punish those responsible” for last week’s border explosions, which left two soldiers in need of leg amputations.
A day earlier Seoul had been joined by the United Nations Command in accusing the North of breaking their ceasefire by laying fresh landmines nearly 500 meters into South Korean territory.
The incident was the latest in a series of provocations amid decades-long tensions along the 4 kilometer-wide Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the Koreas.
Following Monday’s threat of revenge by the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Minster Han Min-koo wasted little time in informing lawmakers about “an operation to seize initiative in the (DMZ),” according to local news agency Yonhap.
The ministry was set to brief foreign military attaches later in the day, having issued a full alert for the western border area.
South Korea also began playing propaganda information from loudspeakers placed at the border – an initiative that was abandoned more than a decade ago during Seoul’s ‘sunshine policy’ of cooperation with the reclusive North.
A measure of how far the broadcasts are likely to provoke Pyongyang may be gauged by North Korea’s anger at repeated attempts by activists to float leaflet-laden balloons across from the South – the two sides even ended up exchanging machine gun fire over the issue last October.
Despite the North’s failure to atone for deadly attacks in the past, Seoul presented its neighbor with a peaceful way out Tuesday.
“We urge North Korea to offer an apology over the provocation and punish those responsible for it," presidential spokesperson Min Kyung-wook said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, formerly South Korean foreign minister, also released a statement calling on Pyongyang to “fully adhere to the obligations under the Armistice Agreement and engage in dialogue on this incident.”
Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Ağustos 2015, 11:25