N. KOREAN TROOPS CROSS DMZ IN 2ND ARMISTICE VIOLATION.
Byline: Reid G. Miller Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
For the second straight day, North Korea moved armed troops Saturday into the buffer zone buffer zone
A neutral area between hostile or belligerent forces that serves to prevent conflict.
Noun 1. buffer zone with South Korea. U.S. and U.N. officials said there was no evidence of an imminent threat Imminent threat is a standard criterion in international law, developed by Daniel Webster, for when the need for action is "instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation. , and North Korea described its actions as defensive.
The South Korean Defense Ministry said about 260 soldiers entered the demilitarized zone See DMZ. at 7 p.m. and left three hours later without incident.
American and United Nations military forces in South Korea said seven trucks carrying about 120 soldiers and an undetermined number of utility vehicles entered the area.
The troops occupied ``fighting positions'' they had prepared the night before and appeared to place several mortars of undetermined caliber in the area, said a statement from combined U.S. and U.N. military command in Seoul.
Jim Coles, a spokesman for the force, said it was evaluating the incursion in·cur·sion
1. An aggressive entrance into foreign territory; a raid or invasion.
2. The act of entering another's territory or domain.
3. , which violated the armistice Armistice
(Nov. 11, 1918) Agreement between Germany and the Allies ending World War I. Allied representatives met with a German delegation in a railway carriage at Rethondes, France, to discuss terms. The agreement was signed on Nov. ending the Korean War Korean War, conflict between Communist and non-Communist forces in Korea from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into Soviet (North Korean) and U.S. (South Korean) zones of occupation. . The two sides have never signed a permanent peace treaty and are still technically at war.
It was the second time North Korea has violated the 43-year-old agreement since announcing Thursday that it would no longer observe it.
On Friday, about 130 North Korean soldiers armed with mortars and machine guns entered the zone at 6 p.m. and stayed 2-1/2 hours before leaving, the Defense Ministry in Seoul said.
In both cases the northern soldiers entered the zone at Panmunjom, the village where the armistice was signed. It remains the site of infrequent but almost always testy tes·ty
adj. tes·ti·er, tes·ti·est
Irritated, impatient, or exasperated; peevish: a testy cab driver; a testy refusal to help. talks between the former combatants.
The U.S.-led U.N. military command said it was trying to contact North Korea's People's Army People's Army was a title of several communist armed forces:
U.S. officials in Washington and Seoul called the violations serious, but, noting that North Korea has made similar incursions in the past, said they appeared to pose no risk of renewed fighting on the divided peninsula.
Nevertheless, South Korea's president convened an emergency meeting of his national security advisers Saturday. Afterward, President Kim Young-sam
Kim Young-sam (b. December 20, 1927 in Geoje, South Gyeongsang) was the President of South Korea from February 25, 1993 to February 25, 1998. sought to reassure South Koreans, saying they should not be alarmed at North Korea's ``provocation.''
On Saturday, North Korea defended its actions as ``self-defensive.''
A Minju Josun newspaper analysis said: ``The countermeasure is only too legitimate, now that we can no longer unilaterally observe the provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement relating to the demilitarized zone along the military demarcation line.''
The analysis, reported by North's official Korea Central News Agency, did not specify whether the ``countermeasure'' referred to the movement of armed troops or the dismissal of the armistice.
North Korea announced Thursday that it would ``give up its duty'' of jointly controlling the 2.5-mile-wide demilitarized zone that stretches across the peninsula.
That prompted South Korea and the U.N. military command in Seoul to order increased surveillance of the border to watch for any massing of northern troops and arms. None has been observed.
The increase in the so-called Watch Condition to a Level 2 was the highest in 15 years, but affected mostly military intelligence and other units assigned to watch the tense border. No major southern troop movements or mobilizations were involved.
Most of the 37,000 American military personnel in South Korea were not affected by the heightened security alert.
The United States, which led a U.N. force in defense of the South after North Korea invaded in 1950, has maintained a strong military presence since the armistice in 1953.
The North said Thursday's announcement was in response to South Korea moving personnel, tanks, artillery and other heavy arms into the demilitarized zone in violation of the armistice.
South Korea denied that and called the North's move ``an almost complete abrogation The destruction or annulling of a former law by an act of the legislative power, by constitutional authority, or by usage. It stands opposed to rogation; and is distinguished from derogation, which implies the taking away of only some part of a law; from Subrogation, of the armistice, and different from its previous moves to discredit it.''
Map: Panmunjom, North Korea