South Korea’s Yoon warns of ending military pact after North drone intrusion


YEREVAN, JANUARY 4, ARTSAKHPRESS. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Wednesday he would consider suspending a 2018 inter-Korean military pact if North Korea violates its airspace again, Reuters reported citing the South Korean presidential spokesperson.

Yoon made the comment after being briefed on countermeasures to North Korean drones that crossed into the South last week, calling for building an “overwhelming response capability that goes beyond proportional levels,” Reuters quoted South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s press secretary Kim Eun-hye as saying.

“During the meeting, he instructed the national security office to consider suspending the validity of the military agreement if North Korea stages another provocation invading our territory,” Kim told a briefing.

The 2018 deal, sealed on the sidelines of a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, calls for ceasing “all hostile acts”, creating a no-fly zone around the border, and removing landmines and guard posts within the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone. The government has not said how many mines and posts were removed, citing security concerns.

Yoon has criticised the military’s handling of the drone incident, in part blaming the previous administration’s reliance on the 2018 pact.

He has urged the military to stand ready to retaliate, even if that means “risking escalation.”

Yoon ordered the defence minister to launch a comprehensive drone unit that performs multi-purpose missions, including surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare, and to set up a system to mass-produce small drones that are difficult to detect within the year, Kim said.

“He also called for accelerating the development of stealthy drones this year and quickly establishing a drone killer system,” she said.

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