South Korea suspends military agreement with North Korea after trash-filled balloon campaign

by IANS |

Seoul, June 3 (IANS) The National Security Council (NSC), on Monday, decided to suspend the 2018 inter-Korean reduction pact until mutual trust is restored in response to North Korea's massive sending of trash-carrying balloons into South Korea.

NSC, the advisory body to the President of South Korea on matters of national security, held a meeting with related ministries to evaluate North Korea's recent series of provocations, and agreed to propose a motion suspending the Comprehensive Military Agreement during a Cabinet meeting slated for Tuesday, reports Yonhap news agency.

"The attendees decided to submit a proposal to suspend the entire effectiveness of the September 19 Military Agreement until mutual trust between the two Koreas is restored," the presidential office said in a statement.

The North has sent nearly 1,000 balloons carrying trash into the South since Thursday in what it said was a "tit-for-tat campaign" against South Korean activists sending balloons carrying propaganda leaflets denouncing the North's regime.

No human casualties were reported, but some balloons caused property damage, such as a broken windshield.

The NSC meeting, presided over by Deputy Principal National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo, concluded that North Korea's recent provocations have caused harm and threats to South Korean citizens and negatively impacted the military's readiness posture.

"This measure will enable military training near the Military Demarcation Line, which has been restricted by the agreement, and allow for more adequate and immediate responses to North Korean provocations. The government will take all necessary measures to protect the lives and safety of our citizens," the office said.

On Sunday, National Security Adviser Chang Ho-jin said that the government would take "unbearable" measures against North Korea in response to its sending of trash balloons and continued jamming of GPS signals last week. It raised speculation over resuming propaganda campaigns via loudspeakers along the border.

Hours after the warning, North Korea said it would temporarily stop sending trash-carrying balloons across the border into South Korea, though it also threatened to resume such operations if anti-Pyongyang leaflets are sent from South Korea.

The North said that its balloon campaign came purely in response to leaflets sent by South Korean activists.

It would be necessary to nullify a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement, which bans hostile acts between the two Koreas, to resume the frontline broadcasts.

The loudspeakers were used to air criticism of the Kim Jong-un regime's human rights abuses, news and K-pop songs, drawing angry responses from Pyongyang.

The 2018 agreement, signed to reduce tensions along the border, remains effectively scrapped after the North conducted live-fire artillery drills near the western border islands in January.

Latest News
Sharp selloff hits Indian stock market, investors lose Rs 8 lakh crore Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 04:46 PM
Bengal Assembly to be under additional security cover during Monsoon Session from July 22 Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 04:36 PM
Ganguly will do a good job as Delhi Capitals' head coach: Kaif Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 04:32 PM
Critical mineral roadshow, exploration hackathon to kick off in Hyderabad tomorrow Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 04:29 PM
CrowdStrike says single software update behind Microsoft Windows crash Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 04:28 PM
Kerala govt orders probe into leak of info on remission to CPI-M workers accused of murder Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 04:27 PM
China launches new Earth observation satellite Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 04:07 PM
Exposing, asking minor to measure organ comes under POCSO: Kerala HC Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 03:56 PM
Indian-origin neurologist develops method to predict seizures in epilepsy patients Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 03:53 PM
Nazara fully acquires Paper Boat Apps, to pay Rs 300 crore for remaining stake Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 03:45 PM
CM Mamata's counsel hails SC's notice on plea filed by Raj Bhavan staffer on immunity to Guv Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 03:44 PM
UPSC files FIR against IAS-PO Puja Khedkar, may cancel her candidature Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 03:43 PM
ED raids offices of SP Singla Group of Companies in three states Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 03:42 PM
Global Microsoft outage: Airline services affected in India, netizens say 'early weekend' Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 03:38 PM
Low sodium in older adults a major health concern, say experts Fri, Jul 19, 2024, 03:37 PM