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U.S. expresses sympathy to S. Korean soldiers injured in landmine explosion

2015/08/11 04:40

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. Defense Department on Monday expressed sympathy to South Korean soldiers injured in the explosion of landmines secretly planted by North Korea in violation of the armistice agreement.

Two South Korean staff sergeants were severely injured while on a patrol mission when landmines exploded on Aug. 4 on the southern side of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. A United Nations Command investigation has determined that the wooden-box landmines were recently buried by North Korea.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to the ROK soldiers that were injured and to their families. We remain in close communication and coordination with the ROK government," Cdr. Bill Urban, a Defense Department spokesman, told Yonhap News Agency.

"The United Nations Command condemns these violations of the Armistice Agreement, and will call for a general officer level-dialog with the Korean People's Army," he said.

The North's provocation further aggravated the already high tensions between the two Koreas.

In retaliation, South Korea resumed a propaganda loudspeaker campaign along the border. North Korea bristles at such a psychological warfare campaign as it is concerned that such broadcasts would weaken a tight lid the regime has maintained on outside information.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo has vowed harsh retaliation for the North Korean provocation, instructing military servicemen at the affected area to react to any provocation by the enemy "confidently, resolutely and without hesitation."

   jschang@yna.co.kr

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