December 18, 2018 10:11
The South Korean Joint Chief of Staff on Monday said inspections of demolished guard posts in the demilitarized zone are complete and North Korea fully destroyed 11 of its guard posts as promised.
But South Korean guards in fact discovered intact crenels at five of the guard posts that would give troops cover to fire machine guns or other firearms.
We "judged that the North Korean side disabled its guard posts as we found them no longer fit for any purpose," said Suh Wook at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The two sides inspected the demolition of 11 guard posts on each side on Dec. 12.
But a military officer here said the South Korean guards discovered "one or two intact crenel 100 to 200 m away from five of the North Korean guard posts."
"North Korean guards explained that they are either unused crenels in an area of unidentified mines or attached to nearby guard posts" that were not subject to the agreement, he added. The South Korean guards neither checked whether that was true nor asked for them to be destroyed.
The South Korean side completely destroyed its own guard posts and auxiliary facilities.
Kim Seung at the Korea Defense and Security Forum said, "South Korean guard posts are small fortresses in themselves, but at North Korean guard posts the automatic firearms crenels are key defense components. The North in effect only destroyed the outer buildings of the guard posts but kept them operational."
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