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Hamas' attack on Israel prompts South Korea to consider pausing military agreement with North Korea
South Korea’s new defense minister says he would push to suspend a 2018 military agreement with North Korea on reducing tensions between the rivals, insisting that it hampers the South’s surveillance activities along their heavily armed border when the North’s nuclear threats are increasing
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s defense minister said Tuesday he would push to suspend a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement in order to resume frontline surveillance on rival North Korea, as the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas militants raised concerns in South Korea about similar assaults by 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 no-fly zones above the border to prevent clashes.
Talking with reporters in Seoul, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-shik cited the violence in Israel and Gaza to stress the need to strengthen monitoring on the North. Shin was appointed by President Yoon Suk Yeol on Saturday.
Shin was particularly critical of the inter-Korean agreement’s no-fly zones, which he said prevents South Korea from fully utilizing its air surveillance assets at a time when North Korean nuclear threats are growing.