South Korean Army soldiers conduct a patrol drill inside the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. (AP)
SEOUL, South Korea, Aug 23: The American-led U.N. Command in South Korea is accusing North Korea of planting land mines near a truce village inside the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas.
Much of the border area is strewn with land mines and laced with barbed wire. But South Korean media say no land mines are allowed near the Panmunjom truce village under the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
The U.N. Command said Tuesday it "strongly condemns" any North Korean action that jeopardizes the safety of personnel in the DMZ.
The U.N. Command said it wouldn't speculate on why North Korea placed the mines there.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency said it appears the North planted the mines to prevent front-line North Korean soldiers from defecting to South Korea via Panmunjom.