August 12, 2015 10:15
The South Korean Army will toughen its response to North Korean incursions into the demilitarized zone after two soldiers were maimed by box mines there last Saturday.
So far South Korean guards have responded to incursions by first broadcasting warnings and firing warning shots, but now they will fire aimed shots from the very beginning.
Defense Minister Han Min-koo Tuesday told reporters, "Our military will seize the initiative within the DMZ. The Army won't be intimidated by this incident."
A ministry spokesman said "So far the strategy has been to deter North Korean soldiers from crossing the military demarcation line, but in future they will be annihilated."
There will also be more search and reconnaissance operations in the DMZ to seize the initiative.
Under new guidelines, advance scouts will wear mine-proof boots and overshoes and carry an 8-kg mine detector.
After resuming a loudspeaker propaganda campaign on Monday, military authorities stepped up alertness on the frontline because the North has threatened to shoot at the loudspeakers if they are switched on again. But so far there has been no response.
The posts have been equipped with surveillance cameras, drones with infrared surveillance cameras, anti-tank missiles, and anti-artillery radar.
They also put K-9 self-propelled howitzers on readiness in the rear area so that they can respond immediately if the North takes pot shots at the loudspeakers.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has condemned the mine explosions, which it called a violation of the armistice. The UN Command Military Armistice Commission is going to ask for a meeting with North Korean generals, Pentagon spokesman William Urban said.
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