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S. Korea mulling reinstatement of tree-burning policy at border Updated: 2015-08-12 21:59:51 KST


South Korea's defense ministry is considering reinstating an old policy of burning trees and scrubs on the border if they hinder the ability of troops to spot enemy movements. The tactic was used in the past, but was halted in the early 1900s.
Fire is the chosen method over cutting given the number of land mines in the area.
The method would only be used in small areas.
It would also only be undertaken in urgent circumstances.


"We will strengthen our border defense so North Korean troops will not be able to cross. We also plan to remove trees in parts of the DMZ to enhance surveillance."

A military official said that, if the tree-clearing operation gets the green light, the burns will take place in the fall as the land is driest then.
In 2001,the two Koreas officially agreed to halt burns at the border to better preserve the ecology of the area.
Experts say the possible reintroduction of the tree- and scrub-clearing operations indicates the South Korean military wants to take a more offensive approach in dealing with border infiltrations.
This comes as the defense ministry confirmed this week that North Korean soldiers snuck across the military demarcation line late last month to lay land mines around a gate guarded by the South Korean military.
North Korea has yet to issue a response about the incident.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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