Decades after start of war, North Korea still builds borders, draws warning shots

Decades after start of war, North Korea still builds borders, draws warning shots

SEOUL - Seventy-four years after the Korean War began, North Korean troops are building new fortifications, occasionally inviting warning shots from South Korean counterparts across a border that has been frozen in a state of war.

In recent weeks, North Korea has deployed a large squad of soldiers to build what appeared to be anti-tank barriers, plant land mines and reinforce tactical roads within the heavily armed demilitarised zone (DMZ), according to the South's military.

The moves resulted in rare run-ins with South Korean troops when they fired warning shots, and some North Koreans were even killed by their own landmines as they pushed closer to the demarcation line, South Korean officials have said.

The line was drawn when the two sides, and their international backers, ended the combat in 1953.

June 25 marks 74 years since the beginning of the war, when North Korea's military stormed over the border into the US-backed South.

The fighting would eventually involve 20 other nations participating as part of UN forces and claim millions of lives, but it ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Koreas in a technical state of war.

After small periods of detente, tensions have surged in recent months, with the North having developed an arsenal of nuclear weapons and declared the South is a "primary foe", no longer a partner for unification.

More recently, the North has flown hundreds of balloons carrying trash in protest against South Korean activists flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets, prompting Seoul to scrap an inter-Korean military pact and take steps to resume propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts, which Pyongyang has long denounced.

Pyongyang’s recent actions along the border may be linked to the change in its inter-Korean policy, some analysts say.

“The North’s ongoing low-intensity, simultaneous provocations appear meant to express hostility toward the South in light of its recent policy shift,” said senior fellow Park Young-ja at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul in a recent report.

“While consolidating unity internally, they could also seek to divide public opinions in the South, and for actual military purposes, to explore how those actions can be of threats.”

University of North Korean Studies president Yang Moo-jin said the inter-Korean stand-off has intensified into something akin to Cold War psychological warfare.

“The return of the outdated balloon and leaflet campaigns shows that the Cold War still persists on the Korean peninsula,” he said.

In his war anniversary speech, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol painted a contrast between the neighbours, saying the North remained “the last frozen land on earth” as it takes “the path of regression”, unlike the democratic, wealthy South.

He slammed the mutual defence pact sealed last week by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin as “anachronistic”, and Pyongyang’s balloon launches as “base, irrational”.

Later on June 25, Mr Yoon became the third South Korean president to board a US aircraft carrier, as nuclear-powered USS Theodore Roosevelt visited the country for joint drills also including Japan.

“North Korea is advancing its nuclear and missile capabilities and professing the possibility of using nuclear weapons first,” he said aboard the carrier. “But our alliance is stronger than ever and the greatest in the world, and can defeat any enemy.” REUTERS

OTHER NEWS

50 minutes ago

3 ASX dividend shares to buy next week

50 minutes ago

Calgary says decision on lifting outdoor water ban coming Monday

50 minutes ago

Top Paramount Shareholder Sets Lawsuit in Motion With Docs Request for Shari Redstone's Skydance Payday

50 minutes ago

Weakness in subscribers will be bad for Netflix's share price, says Needham's Laura Martin

50 minutes ago

CBS Studio Chief on 'Blue Bloods' Spinoff: 'We've Got to Get It Right'

50 minutes ago

The son of Asia's richest man marries in the year's most extravagant wedding

50 minutes ago

Duhan van der Merwe equals try-scoring record as Scotland beat the USA

50 minutes ago

Paris Hilton's new song is about toxic relationships

50 minutes ago

Lindsay Ellingson pregnant with third child

50 minutes ago

Captain America: Brave New World may finally give us some Eternals closure

50 minutes ago

Angel Reese Just Earned A New Nickname From Candace Parker

50 minutes ago

Rasmus Hojgaard tweaked his wrist but not his game at 2024 Genesis Scottish Open

50 minutes ago

Rorisang Thandekiso's tragic loss leads to event cancellations

50 minutes ago

'England's worst player' Jude Bellingham is the selfless leader who could inspire glory vs Spain

50 minutes ago

Sources: Nuggets' DaRon Holmes tears Achilles in summer debut

50 minutes ago

Canada treated like second-class citizens at Copa America, Marsch says

50 minutes ago

Yankees Remain ‘Steadfast’ as Juan Soto Likely to Demand $600M

50 minutes ago

Hawks sign wing Vit Krejci to 4-year deal after showing promise on 2-way contract

50 minutes ago

Josh Brolin Says He's Only Let Two People Read His Upcoming Memoir: 'Raked Me Over the Coals'

50 minutes ago

Clifton Suspension Bridge latest: Police name suspect after remains of two men found in suitcases in Bristol

50 minutes ago

We all bear a duty to be better neighbours, including the Orange Order - The Irish News view

50 minutes ago

Biden Buys Campaign More Time but Pays a Steep Price

50 minutes ago

Tendulkar hails 'inspirational' Anderson after England great's last Test

50 minutes ago

After Record-Setting Year, What is The Ceiling For Miami Receiver Xavier Restrepo?

50 minutes ago

'I'm As Good As Anybody' in NFL! Bengals' Joe Burrow's Boast

50 minutes ago

Gareth Southgate has proved that quiet competence can lift a nation – it’s a lesson that goes far beyond sport

50 minutes ago

There is no fundamental right to change one's sex in birth certificates, federal appeals court rules

50 minutes ago

Ex-NRL WAG and reality TV contestant Arabella Del Busso emerges after jail stint

50 minutes ago

Son of Asia's richest man in year's most lavish wedding

50 minutes ago

Samsung unfazed by Huawei's top spot in foldable phone segment

50 minutes ago

Sol Campbell and David James make England v Spain Euro 2024 final predictions

51 minutes ago

Keir Starmer's family find surprise left behind in Downing Street flat

51 minutes ago

US: Biden says 'I'm running' as his campaign struggles

51 minutes ago

How to Install a Ceiling Fan Mounting Bracket

51 minutes ago

New Orleans Chef Ashley Jonique Is Putting A Tasty Twist On The City’s Classic Dishes

51 minutes ago

Russian-born Australians charged with spying

51 minutes ago

Patrick Murphy: Welcome to New Labour and its New English vocabulary

51 minutes ago

‘Prisoners to serve even less time’ because Sunak rejected early release plan

54 minutes ago

Colds and flu can be kept at bay by nasal spray, new study finds

54 minutes ago

How to watch Wallaroos vs Black Ferns? TV channel and live stream for Australia women's rugby