AUGUST 26 2015 06:28h

South Korea downgrades military alert at border

South Korea downgrades military alert at border




Seoul (dpa) – South Korea’s armed forces Wednesday reduced their high-level combat readiness posture at the border caused by tensions with North Korea this month, a media report said.

The Koreas reached an agreement Tuesday according to which North Korea's "quasi-state of war" would be lifted, and South Korea would stop broadcasting propaganda by loudspeaker across their shared border.

"The maximum alert order that had come down to the front-line military units is being downgraded," the Yonhap News Agency quoted an unnamed military source as saying.

Personnel on the frontline would still remain in a higher than normal state of readiness, the source added.

Tensions escalated after two South Korean soldiers lost their legs in landmine explosion in the Demilitarized Zone on August 4, an incident that Seoul blamed on Pyongyang. That led the South to switch on its propaganda speakers for the first time in 11 years, in retaliation.

The tension escalated with an exchange of dozens of artillery shells Thursday across the border.

The two sides later reached a deal to defuse tensions after three days of talks at the border village of Panmunjom.

North and South Korea fought the Korean War from 1950-53. The war ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically still at war.


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