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North Korea to deploy troops near Kaesong, Mount Kumgang — agency

Pyongyang is also set to resume all types of military exercises near the South Korean border

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. The North Korean authorites will deploy military units in the Mount Kumgang resort area and near the city of Kaesong to protect against possible actions by South Korea, North Korea’s KCNA news agency said citing a spokesperson for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army.

Moreover, Pyongyang is set to resume all types of military exercises near the South Korean border, the spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Units of the regiment level and necessary firepower sub-units with defence mission will be deployed in the Mt Kumgang tourist area and the Kaesong Industrial Zone where the sovereignty of our Republic is exercised," the statement says.

The spokesman also said that civil police posts that had been withdrawn from the Demilitarized Zone under the north-south agreement in the military field would be set up again. Moreover, Pyongyang was set to resume all types of military exercises near the border with the South.

"The artillery units deployed on the whole front line including the southwest naval front will reinforce those on combat duty, upgrade the level of the front guard duty to top class combat duty system throughout the front line and will resume all kinds of regular military exercises in the areas close to the boundary," the statement says.

The KPA General Staff will work out further military action plans and submit them to the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea for ratification at an earliest date, the agency said.

On Tuesday, North Korea blew up its joint liaison office with Seoul in Kaesong. It was opened in September 2018 to help the two Koreas communicate. Initially, representatives from South Korea and North Korea agreed to meet in Kaesong twice a day, but after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, they switched over to telephone communications.

Earlier, Pyongyang excoriated Seoul for sending propaganda leaflets across the border and pledged to retaliate, going even as far as sending troops to the regions along the demilitarized zone. Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong, first vice director of the United Front Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea, openly warned that the office would be shortly demolished.

Special envoys 

South Korea has requested Pyongyang on Monday to receive its special envoys, but this request was turned down, KCNA reported on Wednesday.

"Upset by the toughest retaliatory offensive against enemy taken by us, the south side sent a message to the effect that ‘President’ Moon Jae In hopes for sending special envoys to the Chairman of our State Affairs Commission," KCNA reported. "Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, made known the stand that we flatly reject the tactless and sinister proposal."

According to KCNA, Seoul planned to send Chief of the State Security Office Jong Ui Yong and Director of the Intelligence Service So Hun as its special envoys.