Graphic shows timeline of recent events and areas where the North Korean army is due to be redeployed.
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MILITARY

North Korea to deploy troops in demilitarized areas

By Jordi Bou

June 18, 2020 - A mounting spat sparked by defectors in South Korea sending anti-regime propaganda balloons across the North Korean border is raising the risk of a military confrontation.

North Korea said on Wednesday it had rejected a South Korean offer to send special envoys to ease escalating tension over defiance by North Korean defectors and stalled reconciliation efforts, and it vowed to redeploy troops to border areas.

The rivals have intensified their animosities in recent days, with Pyongyang unleashing fiery rhetoric over propaganda leaflets that South Korean activists have launched aboard balloons toward North Korea. North Korea on Monday blew up a joint liaison office set up on its side of the border as part of a 2018 peace agreement between the two countries’ leaders.

Many experts say North Korea is dialing up pressure on Seoul and Washington as its troubled economy has likely worsened due to U.S.-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic. Nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington has made little headway for more than a year.

PUBLISHED: 18/06/2020; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Associated Press, Getty Images, Newscom
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