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N. Korea's provocations top 60 times over past 5 years

2015/09/10 09:49

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has intensified its provocations both on the ground and on sea since last year, with its provocative acts reaching more than 60 over the past five years, the Ministry of National Defense said Thursday.

North Korea committed a total of 64 cases of provocation between 2010 and 2015, including eight cases of border trespassing and five artillery provocations, the ministry said in a report to the parliamentary defense committee.

The ministry said that the North began to resume intrusions across the military demarcation line last year after there had been no border trespassing from 2010 to 2013.

Tension heightened on the Korean Peninsula recently as North Korea planted land mines along the inter-Korean border in early August that seriously injured two South Korean soldiers.

The two Koreas were on the verge of a military clash after the incident and Seoul's subsequent resumption of its anti-Pyongyang loudspeaker campaign, but the countries were able to reach a landmark deal on easing military tension on Aug. 25.

North Korea's provocations near the western sea border also increased during the 2010-2015 period including 13 cases last year, the ministry said.

The North's patrol boats have frequently intruded past the Northern Limit Line, the de factor inter-Korean sea border in the Yellow Sea, as it has long demanded that the line be moved farther south.

Pyongyang does not acknowledge the NLL which was drawn unilaterally by the U.S.-led United Nations Command when the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire. The two Koreas fought bloody battles in 1999, 2002 and 2009 near the border.