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(LEAD) Defense chief calls for border troops' watertight posture after N.K.'s DMZ gunfire

All News 17:18 June 01, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo visited the Ground Operations Command on Monday and called on troops near inter-Korean border areas to maintain a watertight combat posture, his office said.

His visit to the command in Yongin, southeast of Seoul, came after a May 3 incident inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), where four bullets from North Korea hit a South Korean guard post (GP) in the central border town of Cheorwon, leading South Korean troops to return fire.

Most of the inter-Korean border areas are the Army command's area of responsibility.

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo speaks during his visit to the Ground Operations Command in Yongin, south of Seoul, on June 1, 2020, in this photo provided by his office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"Units in charge of operations for GPs and GOPs should ensure a full military readiness posture to perfectly respond to any circumstances," Jeong said. GOP means a general outpost located along the southern limit line, while GPs are inside the buffer zone.

The minister also stressed the military's role in establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and its efforts to fully implement the inter-Korean military agreement signed in 2018.

"Most of the planned projects (under the peace initiative) are to take place in border areas. So, the command should work closely with ministries concerned to ensure the security and safety of visitors," the minister said.

Those projects include the resumption of a tour program to the truce village of Panmunjom and the extension of the trail courses of the DMZ Peace Trail programs.

This photo taken on Sept. 19, 2019, shows a North Korean guard post on the northern side of the Demilitarized Zone viewed from a South Korean observatory in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)


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