Defense Minister Shin Won-sik Reiterates Call to Suspend 2018 Inter-Korean Military Agreement

SEOUL - Defense Minister Shin Won-sik, during a visit to a Marine Corps unit on the northwestern island of Yeonpyeong, reaffirmed his call to suspend the 2018 inter-Korean Comprehensive Military Agreement, his office announced on Monday.

According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, Shin made the call citing that the agreement significantly limits military drills in the area. The Comprehensive Military Agreement, which was signed under the previous administration led by President Moon Jae-in, bans artillery firing and naval drills by setting up maritime buffer zones.

Shin was quoted saying, "I understand that there are considerable difficulties in maintaining a combat readiness posture as firing drills of major weapons have been halted in the northwestern islands." He added that the agreement would be corrected through its suspension. Shin, who took office on October 7, has consistently been calling for the suspension of this agreement.

During his visit, the minister also directed the troops to react "immediately, strongly, and until the end" should there be any provocation. In November 2010, North Korea fired artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, resulting in the deaths of two Marines and two civilians.

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