17:05 GMT +309 December 2019
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    South Korean soldiers patrol along the scene of a blast inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, in this picture taken on August 9, 2015

    South Korea Accuses North of Laying Mines That Wounded Two Soldiers

    © REUTERS / South Korean Defense Ministry/Yonhap
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    The Relationship Between the Two Koreas (166)
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    South Korea on Monday warned Pyongyang of the consequences that might follow the explosion of land mines in the Demilitarized Zone that seriously injured two South Korean soldiers.

    The South Korean military expressed its conviction that the neighboring Communist nation is to blame for intentionally laying mines in the part of the DMZ area that is controlled by the Southern state. The explosions that happened last week wounded two soldiers on a routine patrol. One of the soldiers lost two legs from the mine, while the other lost one leg.

    South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday it is confident that North Korean troops secretly crossed the border to plant the mines.

    "We are certain they were North Korean landmines, planted with an intention to kill, by our enemies who sneaked across the military border," said ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok.

    The conclusions are based on the fact that the splinters from the explosions were from wood box mines, used by North Koreans. Also, according to South Korean authorities, the mines were placed nearby a door on the South Korean side of the border that opened onto the DMZ.

    In a statement issued by Joint Chiefs of Staff, South Korea appealed for Pyongyang to apologize and penalize those responsible for the explosion. The southern state also promised that North Korea will "pay a harsh price" for its provocation. Pyongyang has not commented on the accusations.

    If it is proved that North Korea is behind the incident, it would mean a violation of the cease-fire policy that technically put an end to the Korean War.

    According to South Korean investigators, the blast was targeted at undermining U.S. and South Korean joint military exercises that are scheduled for next week, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.

    The Relationship Between the Two Koreas (166)


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