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Yoon refrains from commenting on possibility of scrapping inter-Korean military agreement

All News 11:39 October 07, 2022

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol said Friday he would not comment in advance on the possibility of scrapping an inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement in the event North Korea goes ahead with another nuclear test.

Some members of the ruling party have argued the Sept. 19 agreement, signed after a 2018 summit between then President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, should be scrapped amid the North's increased missile testing in recent weeks.

The agreement calls for halting all hostile military activity between the Koreas and includes plans to turn the Demilitarized Zone into a peace zone, devise military guarantees for the activation of cross-border exchanges and establish military confidence-building measures.

President Yoon Suk-yeol arrives for work at the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 7, 2022. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol arrives for work at the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 7, 2022. (Yonhap)

"The three countries that are responding to North Korea's nuclear threat are coming up with response plans step by step through their foreign ministries, national security offices and various channels," Yoon told reporters, referring to South Korea, the United States and Japan.

"It's a bit difficult to tell you in advance," he said when asked if he is considering annulling the deal in the event North Korea conducts what would be its seventh nuclear test.

Officials have said North Korea could stage a nuclear test late this month after a key Chinese Communist Party meeting and before the U.S. midterm elections in November, though the regime has been ready since May.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup told a parliamentary meeting this week that he will review the effectiveness of the Sept. 19 agreement depending on the intensity of North Korea's provocations, saying it "isn't desirable" for South Korea to abide by the terms when the North is not.


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