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Seoul Accuses N. Korea of Repeated DMZ Crossings

FILE - North Korean soldiers guard the truce village of Panmunjom at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates the two Koreas.

South Korean defense officials say North Korean forces have breached a military land demarcation line between the two countries five times so far this year.

During one incident in June, North Korean soldiers stole a bell in the demilitarized zone, known as the DMZ. The bells were set up by the South in 2012 for soldiers from the North who want to signal their defection.

The South Korean military fired warning shots at the soldiers running away with the bell and followed them up to within 50 meters of the military demarcation line.

Skirmishes along the DMZ occasionally flare up. At a press briefing Tuesday, an official with the South’s Ministry of National Defense accused Pyongyang of increasing training maneuvers in the area.

The official said the North’s training tends to escalate along the demarcation line every June at Kim Jong Un’s directive and is currently focused on ambushes and raids.

South Korea also periodically accuses North Korean of violating their shared maritime border.

The Korean War ended in an armistice in 1953, with the two sides still technically at war.

This report was done in collaboration with VOA Korean Services. Jee Abbey Lee contributed to the report.

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