Tuesday, August 25, 2015

South Korea, DPRK to Lift Military Alert From Noon Tuesday
2015-08-25 14:19:50
Editor: xuxin

Photo: Kim Yang Gon, United Front Department Director of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Kwan-jin, chief of the National Security Office of South Korea, Hwang Pyong So, director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army of DPRK, and Unification Minister of South Korea Hong Yong-pyo, (L to R), pose for a photo after their talks at the Panmunjom truce village inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas, Aug. 25, 2015.

SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will lift the order of their militaries on the highest alert from noon Tuesday, Seoul's defense ministry said.

Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a regular press briefing Tuesday morning that the South Korean military would take proportionate actions and closely monitor the move of DPRK forces as the DPRK agreed to release the order of its troops into a state of war from noon.

As agreed upon during the inter-Korean dialogue, South Korea will stop propaganda broadcasts in frontline areas from noon, the spokesman said, but he noted that the broadcast loudspeakers would be stationed in where they are as the removal of the speakers were not discussed.

The DPRK had denounced the propaganda broadcast as a declaration of war.

Kim said that South Korean troops will be placed on the highest alert till noon before downgrading the readiness level gradually.

The two Koreas agreed early Tuesday to defuse tensions on the peninsula following a 43-hour marathon dialogue at the truce village of Panmunjom.

Pyongyang expressed regrets over injured South Korean soldiers caused by landmines blast that happened on the southern section of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on Aug. 4.

The incident escalated the inter-Korean tensions into a crisis that militaries of the two countries were put on the highest alert. The DPRK agreed to lift the order of its forces to enter a state war.

S. Korea, DPRK agree to defuse tension after talks

English.news.cn   2015-08-25 02:49:49   More

SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed Tuesday to defuse the tension on the peninsula following a 43-hour dialogue.

The DPRK expressed regrets over landmine blasts, which maimed two South Korean soldiers and South Korea will stop all loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts from Tuesday noon in frontline areas, according to Seoul's officials.

Under the six-point agreement, both sides also agreed to hold an inter-governmental dialogue in Seoul or Pyongyang at an earliest possible date to improve ties and to go ahead with talks and negotiations in various areas.

Pyongyang agreed to release the earlier order of a state of war.

The two sides agreed to hold a working-level Red Cross contact in early September for the reunion of families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War during the upcoming Chuseok holiday that falls in late September.

Seoul and Pyongyang also agreed to facilitate private-sector exchanges in a wide range.

"It is very merciful to grab an opportunity for developing inter-Korean relations and preventing the recurrence of provocative acts through this round of high-level inter- governmental contact between the two Koreas," Kim Kwan-jin, South Korean President Park Geun-hye's chief security advisor, told a press briefing.

Kim held the 43-hour talks with his DPRK counterpart Hwang Pyong So, chief military aide to top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two sides.

South Korean Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo and DPRK's United Front Department Director Kim Yang Gon in charge of Seoul- Pyongyang relations each accompanied them to the closed-door meeting.

The top-level dialogue ran from Sunday to Tuesday after the 10- hour first session from Saturday afternoon.

It was the unusual length of talks between the two sides and a South Korean news channel reported that it took the longest among the past 700 or so inter-Korean dialogues.

Kim said the South Korean side focused, during the dialogue, on winning the DPRK's apology and pledge to prevent the recurrence of a series of incidents, including the mine blasts.

During the talks, the top-ranking aides repeated the meeting and adjournment, during which they reported to their respective leaders, according to local media reports.

With the second session being under way, President Park said Monday morning that unless the DPRK apologizes for provocations, including landmine blasts, and pledges measures to prevent recurrence, South Korea would keep broadcasting propaganda messages with loudspeakers and take other actions.

Seoul resumed the broadcasts in 11 frontline army units, which Pyongyang called a declaration of war, from Aug. 10 to retaliate against the Aug. 4 explosion of landmines that wounded two South Korean soldiers. South Korea said DPRK forces had deliberately planted the mines, while the DPRK claimed it was fabricated.

On Aug. 20, the DPRK fired four shells into the southern part of the DMZ, according to the South Korean military, which shot back a barrage of 29 artillery rounds. The exchange of fire made both militaries put in the highest alert.

Amid the escalating tension, South Korea put troops in maximum alert, and raised the joint reconnaissance alert with the United States to the second highest.

The DPRK ordered frontline combined forces into a state of war from Friday and issued an ultimatum to stop the propaganda broadcasts until 5 p.m. Saturday or face military actions. The deadline passed without any incident as the first session of emergency contact began from 6:30 p.m. on the same day.

No comments: