N. Korea installs mines on inter-Korean road within DMZ

A South Korean military official, right, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart as they meet inside the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas to take part in a project to establish a cross-border road, in this Nov. 22, 2018 file photo provided by the Ministry of National Defense. Yonhap

North Korea has installed land mines on an inter-Korean road within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, a South Korean military official said Monday, the latest in a series of moves to shut down cross-border roads.The military detected the North laying mines on the unpaved road inside the DMZ late last year near Arrowhead Hill in Cheorwon, 85 kilometers northeast of Seoul, according to the official.The path was created under a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement to connect the South and the North for joint efforts to excavate remains of those killed near the hill during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Since late last year, the North has installed mines on all roads between the two Koreas once seen as symbols of inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation.In January, North Korean troops were spotted installing mines on two inter-Korean roads — the Gyeongui road between the South’s western border city of Paju and the North’s Kaesong and the Donghae road along the east coast.Last month, the military also detected the North removing dozens of streetlights along the two roads.The moves came after the North’s leader Kim Jong-un called for scrapping a decadeslong policy of seeking unification with South Korea and defining their relations as those between “two states hostile to each other.”In January, Kim gave instructions for “strict” measures to block all the channels of inter-Korean communication along the border, such as cutting off the Gyeongui 슬롯게이밍 land route to an “irretrievable level.” 

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