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South Korea to suspend inter-Korean military agreement

Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo speaks during a press briefing at the presidential office in Yongsan District, Seoul, May 30. Yonhap

The National Security Council (NSC) decided Monday to suspend the 2018 inter-Korean military agreement in response to North Korea’s sending of trash-filled balloons over the border.

The presidential office convened an NSC standing committee meeting led by Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo to discuss ways to respond to Pyongyang’s recent series of provocations that caused tangible damage and posed security threats to South Koreans.

South and North Korea signed the inter-Korean military agreement to halt all hostile acts against each other to reduce tensions along the inter-Korean border following an inter-Korean summit in September 2018. The agreement bans all hostile acts within a buffer zone of 135 kilometers over the West Sea border and 80 kilometers into the East Sea.

However, North Korea sent nearly 1,000 balloons carrying trash into South Korea, jammed GPS signals and launched short-range ballistic missiles last week.

“We decided to submit a proposal to suspend the Sept. 19 military agreement during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. This measure will allow us to carry out military training near the Military Demarcation Line and enable us to take adequate and immediate responses to North Korean provocations. The government will take all necessary measures to protect the lives and safety of our citizens,” the presidential office said in a statement.

This comes a day after National Security Adviser Chang Ho-jin warned that the government will take “unbearable measures” against North Korea in response to its sending of the trash balloons. They included resuming loudspeaker broadcasts carrying news critical of the North Korean regime along the inter-Korean border. North Korea is extremely sensitive to such broadcasts due to the possible effects on its military and the general public.

Hours after the warning, North Korea said it would temporarily stop sending trash-filled balloons into South Korea, claiming that its 카지노사이트 campaign left the South Koreans with “enough experience of how unpleasant they feel.” However, it also threatened to resume such operations if Seoul sent more anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets.

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