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    N.Korea rejects South’s offer of envoys, vows to send back troops

    The warning was made by state media KCNA one day after North Korea blew up a joint liaison office set up in a border town as part of a 2018 agreement by the two countries’ leaders.

    By REUTERS
     

    JUNE 17, 2020 11:45

    A concrete border is seen as a South Korean soldier stands guard at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea July 19, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS)

    A concrete border is seen as a South Korean soldier stands guard at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea July 19, 2017.

    (photo credit: REUTERS)

    SEOUL – North Korea said on Wednesday it has rejected South Korea’s offer to send special envoys, and vowed to send back troops to demilitarized border units in the latest step towards nullifying inter-Korean peace accords.

    The warning was made by state media KCNA one day after North Korea blew up a joint liaison office set up in a border town as part of a 2018 agreement by the two countries’ leaders, amid flaring tension over propaganda leaflets sent by defectors into the reclusive state.

    South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Monday offered to send his national security adviser Chung Eui-yong and spy chief Suh Hoon as special envoys. But Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a senior ruling party official, “flatly rejected the tactless and sinister proposal,” KCNA said.

    Moon “greatly favors sending special envoys for ‘tiding over crises’ and raises preposterous proposals frequently, but he has to clearly understand that such a trick will no longer work on us,” KCNA said.

    “The solution to the present crisis between the North and the South caused by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the South Korean authorities is impossible and it can be terminated only when proper price is paid.”

    South Korea’s presidential Blue House said on Wednesday that recent North Korean criticism of President Moon Jae-in was senseless and that it will no longer accept unreasonable behavior by the North.

    Blue House spokesman Yoon Do-han said criticism of Moon by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, was a very rude and senseless act that fundamentally damaged the trust built by the two leaders.

    The Blue House is called that due to its pavilion, which is composed of blue tiles.  

    In a separate dispatch, a spokesman for the General Staff of the (North) Korean People’s Army (KPA) said it will mobilize troops to Mount Kumgang and Kaesong near the border, where the two Koreas had carried out joint economic projects in the past.

    Police posts that had been withdrawn from the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) will also be reinstalled, while artillery units near the western sea border where the defectors frequently send leaflets will be reinforced with the readiness alert heightened to the level of “top class combat duty,” the spokesman said.

    The North will also restart sending anti-Seoul leaflets across the border, he added.

    “Areas favorable for scattering leaflets against the South will open on the whole front line and our people’s drive for scattering leaflets will be guaranteed militarily and thorough-going security measures will be taken,” he said.

    The KPA said on Tuesday it had been studying an “action plan” to re-enter zones that had been demilitarized under a 2018 inter-Korean military pact and “turn the front line into a fortress.”

    Seoul’s defense ministry has urged North Korea to abide by the agreement, under which both sides vowed to cease “all hostile acts” and dismantled a number of structures along the DMZ.

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