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North Korea refuses to recognize armistice pact

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Jan 06,2003
North Korea has defied the authority and jurisdiction of the armistice agreement in a cross-border transportation corridor in the west part of the Demilitarized Zone, heightening security concerns on the Korean Peninsula, a top U.S. military officer in South Korea said Monday. The United Nations Command expressed concern for escalation of tensions in the DMZ due to the North's refusal to address its bringing of machine guns to guard posts in the transportation corridor where North and South Korea are building a railway and road. The UN officials claimed the North Korean officers turned a blind eye to the whole matter when evidence of the machine guns was presented at a meeting, saying it is outside the jurisdiction of the truce agreement. General Leon J. LaPorte, commander of U.S. Forces Korea and the UN Command, said the North's continued refusal to deal with the issue of the machine guns could seriously harm inter-Korean efforts for joint railway construction and other projects, not to mention the very safety of South Koreans working on those projects. Saying the North is trying to shift attention away from its violation of the armistice accord, Gen. LaPorte said the North's action is counted as a challenge to the armistice authority. He added he's having serious doubts of whether the North is serious about abiding by the pact in the first place. The U.S. commander added this is the third time for the North to refuse to recognize the UN authority within the DMZ as stipulated in the 1953 pact.
by staff reporter
January 06, 2003




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