The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

South Korea mulls pause on North Korea military pact after Hamas attack

South Korea’s defence minister has said he will push to suspend a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement in order to resume front-line surveillance on rival North Korea, as the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas raised concerns in South Korea about similar assaults by the North. Talking with reporters in Seoul on Tuesday, South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik cited the violence in Israel and Gaza to stress the need to strengthen monitoring of the North. The agreement, reached during a brief period of diplomacy between South Korea’s former liberal President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, created buffer zones along land and sea boundaries and nofly zones above the border to prevent clashes. Shin was particularly critical of the inter-Korean agreement’s no-fly zones, which he said prevents South Korea from fully utilising its air surveillance assets at a time when North Korean nuclear threats are growing. Relations between the Koreas have decayed following the collapse of larger talks between Washington and Pyongyang in 2019 over the North’s nuclear weapons programme. North Korea has threatened to abandon the 2018 agreement while dialing up missile tests to a record pace, prompting the conservative Yoon to take a harder line on Pyongyang than his dovish predecessor. While it would take a complicated legal process for South Korea to fully abandon the agreement, pausing the agreement would only require a decision from a Cabinet meeting, Shin said. “Hamas has attacked Israel, and the Republic of Korea is under a much stronger threat,” Shin said, invoking South Korea’s formal name. “To counter [that threat], we need to be observing [North Korean military movements] with our surveillance assets, to gain prior knowledge of whether they are preparing provocations or not,” he said. Aljazeera

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.