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N.K. firing drills may signal Pyongyang no longer respects military pact: former USFK chief

26 November 2019 09:39

SEOUL. KAZINFORM - North Korea's recent artillery firing drills from an inter-Korean border island in the Yellow Sea may signal that Pyongyang no longer respects the inter-Korean military agreement, a former U.S. Forces Korea commander said, Yonhap reports.

Vincent Brooks, who commanded USFK from 2016-2018, also said in an interview with Voice of America (VOA) on Tuesday that the North's firing exercises from the border island of Changrin could mean that more violations could come.

«Given that this is the first recognized violation of the Comprehensive Agreement, it is a disappointment,» Brooks said, referring to the Sept. 19 military agreement signed by the two Koreas last year during the third summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The agreement calls for the two sides to halt all hostile acts against each other.

«On one hand it could be a signal that they no longer respect the Comprehensive Military Agreement. It is just the first of many more violations to come,» Brooks said, implying that the communist state could violate the agreement again in the future.

Brooks called on South Korea and the United States to resume bilateral exercises as Pyongyang's recent move to push ahead with the air demonstration on the East Coast in Wonsan earlier this month and the artillery firing drills indicates that North Korea shows no concern for the agreement.

«So the U.S. and South Korea tried to make space by not conducting the exercises. North Korea has responded with an air demonstration on the East Coast in Wonsan and now with this. I wish we no longer consider adjustments to exercises since it is clear that North Korea is not concerned about that,» he said.

Changrin is located 45 km southeast of South Korea's border island of Baengnyeong Island, and it is within the maritime buffer zone designated by the Sept. 19 pact.

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