North Korea Deploys Troops And Heavy Weapons Amid Military Pact Collapse

In response to South Korea’s partial suspension of the 2018 pact, North Korea has fully withdrawn from the agreement, declaring its intent to make South Korea “pay dearly”

North Korea is reportedly reconstructing guard posts and deploying heavy weaponry along its border with South Korea, according to the South Korean defence ministry. This action follows the termination of a crucial confidence-building agreement aimed at preventing a war between the two nations.

South Korean military sources have observed North Korean troops rebuilding previously dismantled and camouflaged guard posts, a measure that was agreed upon in a 2018 military pact to reduce the risk of confrontation along the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ). Trench digging and the positioning of heavy weapons by North Korea in the border area have also been reported by the South’s military. The DMZ, established after the 1950-53 Korean War, remains a potential hotspot for any future inter-Korean conflict.

The 2018 agreement, born out of a period of improved relations between North and South Korea, following talks involving US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, has been strained. Despite initial optimism, denuclearization talks faltered. Recent tensions heightened when North Korea asserted launching a spy satellite, violating UN sanctions. In response, South Korea partially suspended the 2018 agreement and resumed border surveillance flights.

In response to South Korea’s partial suspension of the 2018 pact, North Korea has fully withdrawn from the agreement, declaring its intent to make South Korea “pay dearly”. The South Korean defence ministry released images taken since Friday, revealing North Korean soldiers establishing temporary guard posts at various locations. Additionally, images showed the apparent installation of a recoilless rifle, a portable anti-vehicle weapon or light artillery piece, at a fortification, according to the defence ministry.

North Korea has fully withdrawn from the agreement and pledged retaliation against South Korea for annulling parts of the pact. South Korea’s defence ministry released images captured since Friday, depicting North Korean soldiers constructing temporary guard posts in multiple locations. Additionally, there were images of what appeared to be the assembly of a recoilless rifle, identified as a portable anti-vehicle weapon or light artillery piece, at a fortification. A senior military official indicated that North Korea is presumed to be rebuilding observation posts that were previously dismantled under the deal. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff announced plans for “corresponding measures” in response to North Korea’s actions, with General Kim Myung-soo emphasizing that inaction would be unwise given North Korea’s breach of trust. Before the 2018 agreement, North Korea had approximately 160 guard posts along the DMZ, while South Korea had 60, with both sides demolishing 11 each following the military deal.

The Inter-Korean Comprehensive Military Agreement, a defence pact aimed at reducing tensions and preventing accidental clashes, established a 5km buffer zone, including a no-fly zone, along the border. It was designed to de-escalate border tensions and minimize the risk of armed conflicts. North Korea’s recent launch of a spy satellite, claiming the ability to review photos of US military bases in Hawaii and Seoul, prompted a response from nine UN Security Council members, including the US, denouncing the action as a violation of Security Council resolutions. The United States called an impromptu UNSC meeting to address the North Korea situation. The foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan, and China convened in Busan to deliberate on the revival of trilateral summits, marking the end of a four-year hiatus. South Korea’s national security adviser, Cho Tae-yong, indicated that a leaders’ meeting is anticipated to take place next year.