Concerns of a serious risk of direct confrontation spark once again.
North Korea has announced plans to deploy an enhanced military grouping and equipment along the border with its southern neighbor, reported by Sarbaz.kz citing Reuters. This announcement came after Seoul partially suspended a military agreement signed in 2018 in protest against Pyongyang's launch of a spy satellite.
North Korea's Ministry of Defense stated its intention to restore all military processes suspended under the deal with South Korea, which was designed to ease tensions along their shared border.
"We will nullify all military steps taken to ease tensions and conflicts in all directions, including land, sea, and air, and will deploy stronger armed forces and weaponry along the entire demarcation line," the statement from North Korea's defense ministry said.
South Korean officials, on the other hand, suggest that the recent satellite launch was likely supported by Russian technical assistance as part of a joint partnership. Additionally, they announced that South Korea will immediately strengthen surveillance along the heavily fortified border in response to the missile launch.
Consequently, there's once again a serious risk of direct confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, for which, according to North Korea's defense ministry, the South Korean army will bear "full responsibility." North Korea has also blamed Seoul for the termination of the inter-Korean agreement on mutual restraint known as the Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA).
It's worth noting that North Korea's statement came hours after it launched a ballistic missile late Wednesday from its eastern coast. South Korean military stated the launch was unsuccessful. According to Yonhap news agency, South Korean reconnaissance aircraft have already begun patrolling along the border.
Earlier, North Korean officials claimed a successful launch of their spy satellite. Despite international condemnation, they announced several more launches in the future. However, neither South Korea, Japan, nor the USA can reliably confirm if the satellite was actually placed into orbit.