The American-led U.N. Command in South Korea on Tuesday accused North Korea of planting land mines near a truce village inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas.
Much of the border, one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints, is strewn with land mines and laced with barbed wire. But South Korean media said no land mines had been planted in the area of the truce village of Panmunjom until North Korea placed an unspecified number there last week.
Under the Korean War armistice, the two sides are barred from carrying out any hostile acts within or across the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) -wide DMZ.
More than a million mines are believed to be buried inside the DMZ. North Korean mines occasionally have washed down a swollen river into South Korea, killing or injuring civilians. In August 2015, land mine blasts maimed two South Korean soldiers and caused tensions between the two Koreas to flare.
An unidentified South Korean government official said the North planted the mines to prevent front-line North Korean soldiers from defecting to South Korea via Panmunjom.