Seoul, Mar 23 (efe-epa).- South Korea’s military said Tuesday that there are indications that North Korea has deployed several rocket launchers on a border island, and that both Seoul and Washington have been monitoring the situation.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) spokesperson Kim Jun-rak said at a press conference that Pyongyang appears to have deployed the rocket launchers on Changrin, a small island just north of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), one of the most tense regions in the peninsula.
The legitimacy of the NLL, the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas in the Yellow Sea, is disputed by Pyongyang on grounds that it was mapped by Seoul and Washington unilaterally after the end of the Korean War (1950-53) and favors the South.
However, a South Korean defense ministry spokesperson told EFE that currently Seoul does not consider the deployment to be a violation of the 2018 military treaty between the two countries, which Pyongyang threatened to break last week in protest against the joint drills by South Korea and the United States.
The Changrin islet, located a few kilometers northeast of Seoul, already has a large deployment of troops and weapons.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited the islet in November 2019 to supervise military exercises conducted there.
The deployment of multiple rocket launcher units would, in principle, pose a greater threat to South Korea.
Last week, coinciding with the US-South Korea joint military drills and the visit to Seoul by the US secretaries of state and defense, Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin respectively, the North Korean regime threatened to dissolve organizations for dialog with South Korea and pull out of the inter-Korean defense pact to reduce tensions along their shared border.
North Korea also hinted last week at the possibility of resuming its weapons tests.
Kim Jong-un had urged Joe Biden’s new US government in January to propose new alternatives to resume dialog on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula that has been stalled since early 2019, warning that Pyongyang was preparing to conduct new weapons tests. EFE-EPA