Kim Jong Un Pyongyang CREDIT North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)
North Korea

North Korea To Redeploy Troops Near Border With South

North Korea said it will resume military exercises and boost military readiness in border areas amid increased tensions.

Kim Jong Un Pyongyang CREDIT North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

North Korea has said it will redeploy soldiers to closed inter-Korean sites near its border with South Korea.

The announcement comes a day after the North blew up an empty joint liaison office with the South as tensions between the two nations continue to rise. 

The North said it will resume military exercises, re-establish guard posts and boost military readiness in border areas, as well as open frontline sites for flying propaganda balloons towards South Korea.

The North's General Staff also said military units will be deployed to the Diamond resort and the Kaesong industrial complex - both just north of the heavily fortified border.

The two sites, built with South Korean financing, have been closed for years due to inter-Korean disputes and US-led sanctions.

Kaesong is also where the building was destroyed on Tuesday. 

Under agreements made in 2018, both Koreas are prohibited from holding live-firing exercises along what is the world’s most heavily armed border.

Under those agreements, both Koreas halted live-firing exercises, removed some land mines and destroyed guard posts along the world’s most heavily armed border.

Major General Jeon Dong Jin, from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the country maintains military readiness and will aim to reduce the tensions.

Meanwhile, Kim Yo-Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, claims to have rejected an “unrealistic” offer by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to send special envoys to Pyongyang to defuse animosities.

The increase of tensions between the North and South follows the North's stalled nuclear talks with the US and increased threats from its military.

North Korea blows up inter-Korean office close to the border 160620 CREDIT YONHAP/PA
Smoke rises after the destruction of the inter-Korean office in Kaesong, close to the border with the South (Picture: PA).

Last week, the North announced it would cut all government and military communication channels with the South after it failed to stop activists floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

The North has threatened to leave a 2018 bilateral tension-reduction agreement - sparking concerns among experts that it could trigger clashes along land and sea borders.

On Tuesday, South Korea warned it will "respond strongly" if North Korea "continues to worsen the situation". 

Cover image: Kim Jong Un with troops in Pyongyang in 2019 (Picture: KCNA).