According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, North Korean soldiers have begun rebuilding military posts along the border. In recent weeks, the relationship between North and South Korea took a further nose dive. First, Seoul announced it would partly suspend its participation in a 2018 agreement that demilitarized the border splitting Korea. Pyongyang announced its full withdrawal from the deal in response.
On Monday, the South Korean Defense Ministry released photos showing some North Korean soldiers with arms and others building outposts along the DMZ. Pyongyang destroyed outposts previously during a period of warming relations between South Korea, North Korea, and the US under the Donald Trump administration.
Since President Joe Biden took office, the US has walked away from diplomacy with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Further escalating tensions, Biden ordered the US to restart its live-fire war games with Seoul on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang views these military drills as preparation for a regime change war in North Korea.
Additionally, Biden has deployed nuclear-capable weapons systems and worked to develop trilateral ties with South Korea and Japan. North Korea has responded to the increased threats from Washington and Seoul by conducting a series of missile tests and satellite launches.
Last week, Pyongyang announced its first military surveillance satellite was in orbit. North Korean state media reports that Kim has been able to view images of Western military facilities in the region with photos taken by the space-based information gathering technology.
Seoul responded to the satellite by announcing it would partially withdraw from a 2018 agreement that reduced military activity on the Korean Peninsula. The South Korean military said it would resume surveillance operations along the DMZ.
In reaction to South Korea’s walking back on its commitments to the pact, North Korea stated it would completely leave the deal. The photos released by the South Korean military show North Korean soldiers and outposts along the DMZ that were prohibited by the 2018 agreement.