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UNC says it will continue monitoring situation on Korean Peninsula amid growing tensions

Dec. 1, 2023 - 21:11 By Yonhap

South Korean soldiers stand on guard in the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas on March 3. (Yonhap)

The United Nations Command said Friday it is monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula amid escalating tensions in the region, including the rearmament of North Korean soldiers in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas.

"The Joint Security Area remains a neutral ground for dialogue and de-escalation," the UNC said, noting its intent is to maintain "peace" and "security" in the area.

The UNC added its mission has remained unchanged for 70 years in "managing, implementing and enforcing" the 1953 Armistice Agreement that halted the 1950-53 Korean War.

The remarks came as North Korea has recently begun to rebuild guard posts and bring heavy firearms along the border after effectively scrapping a 2018 inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement.

North Korea said last week that it will restore all military measures halted under the 2018 military accord with South Korea in response to Seoul's partial suspension of the deal over Pyongyang's launch of a military spy satellite.

Since then, North Korean soldiers stationed in the JSA have been seen carrying pistols, while their South Korean counterparts remain unarmed.

On Friday, the United States Forces Korea also said its commitment to defending South Korea remains "ironclad" in regard to the situation.

"USFK leadership and staff are in consultation with senior Republic of Korea military leaders to ensure conditions are set to deter aggression against any threat and, if necessary, defend the Republic of Korea," the USFK said in a statement, referring to South Korea by its official name. (Yonhap)