March 30, 2010 08:01
North Korean on Monday complained that the South Korean government decided to allow journalists into the demilitarized zone and threatened unspecified retaliation. In a statement, a spokesman for the North Korean Army's liaison office at the truce village of Panmunjom called the decision "psychological warfare."
"If wrongdoings by the U.S. and South Korean authorities continue to abuse the DMZ for inter-Korean confrontation, they will entail unpredictable consequences including human casualties in this area," the spokesman said.
The statement warned if the South wants to escape "thunderbolts of fire," the "military warmongers" in Seoul should immediately relent. It also urged the U.S., a party to the armistice agreement, to stop South Korea "from attempting to destroy the status quo in the DMZ."
North Korea is apparently miffed that the Defense Ministry in February signed a memorandum of understanding with 15 media companies to let them report from the DMZ, calling it a violation of the armistice.
A Defense Ministry official denied there is any violation because the South has obtained approval from UN Command and the project is aimed at leaving records of the DMZ for posterity.
The accusation comes at a time when South Korea is still reeling from the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan near the de facto maritime border with North Korea in the West Sea.
A South Korean military officer speculated, "By launching the latest propaganda campaign, the North appears to be feigning ignorance of the sinking to show it has nothing to do with it."
The North has not commented on the sinking of the 12,000 ton corvette in an unexplained explosion on Friday.
North Korea last week summoned South Korean officials and businesses to Mt. Kumgang for what it claims is a survey of property there, threatening to confiscate their real estate unless they showed up. The move appears to be part of an increasingly frantic campaign to bully and cajole the South into resuming lucrative package tours to the resort.
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