North Korea heightened the tension on the Korean peninsula to the peak as the regime nullified the ceasefire agreement with South Korea as it had warned to do so, after South Korea and the US began their joint military training involving computer-simulated drill Key Resolve Monday. North Korea also cut off the inter-Korean communication hotline.
Against such threat, the Blue House and the South Korean military have activated an emergency preparedness in addition to the joint military training. Blue House officials in charge of foreign affairs and security are reportedly standing by around the clock under the command of Kim Jang-soo, a nominee for the chief of the Presidential Office of National Security, at the underground bunker of the Blue House.
“We have become fully prepared against North Korea’s possible provocation, especially in the northwestern island areas including Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands where such provocation is more likely, as we have reviewed all provocation scenarios and response manuals,” said an official at the Blue House.
“We are in a crisis as North Korea threatens a war daily, yet our security command center remains vacant since nominees for chief of the Presidential Office of National Security and minister of defense have not been approved and National Intelligence Service (NIS) is in disarray,” said President Park at the new administration’s first cabinet meeting, urging the National Assembly to swiftly pass the governmental restructuring bill.
Despite the threat, North Korea allowed South Koreans associated with companies operating at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex to have access to the industrial park. North Korea notified the South it permits South Korean nationals to enter the industrial complex via a military communication line near the Yellow Sea.
[Written by Sun-kul Kim - Sun-ah Kim / edited by Soyoung Chung]
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