S Korea warns North of ‘harsh price’ for border landmine blasts
South Korea has vowed to make North Korea pay a “harsh price” for a landmine explosion that injured two soldiers while patrolling the inter-Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ).
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said on Monday it believed that the North had planted three landmines in the zone that hit the patrol on the southern side of the four-kilometer (2.5 mile)-wide DMZ on August 4.
“We are certain they were North Korean landmines planted with an intention to kill by our enemies who sneaked across the military border,” ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told reporters.
According to the ministry, one of the soldiers had to have part of each leg amputated while the other had to have one foot removed at the ankle.
It added that investigations by Seoul and the US-led United Nations Command in Korea showed that wood box mines from the explosions are used by Pyongyang.
In a Monday statement, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said its military would make North Korea “pay a harsh price proportionate to the provocation” it made.
The statement added that the attack was a “baseless act” and “wanton violation” of non-aggression accords and urged the North to apologize for planting the landmines and to severely punish those responsible.
Senior South Korean military officer Ku Hongmo told reporters that Seoul believes North Korean soldiers illegally intruded into the border and planted the mines between July 23 and August 3.
North Korean officials have made no comment over the issue yet.