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Seoul military calls for readiness against N. Korea

TOKYO, Nov 30 (KUNA) -- South Korea's new Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Kim Myung-soo called Thursday for robust military readiness against North Korean provocation as he visited guard posts on the eastern front of the heavily fortified border, Yonhap News Agency reported.
In his first inspection since taking office Saturday, Kim visited front-line units in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas as Pyongyang has recently forward-deployed forces and weapons to the border region following the suspension of a 2018 inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement.
Kim urged the troops to closely monitor North Korea's movements to counter any possible manipulative or surprise attacks and retaliate in an "immediate and decisive" manner if provoked. North Korea has been reinstalling guard posts and placing heavy arms in the zone after it vowed to restore all military measures halted under the 2018 agreement.
The latest move came after South Korea partially suspended the deal to resume surveillance near the border in protest of the North's Nov. 21 spy satellite launch.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang denounced Seoul on Thursday over the partial suspension of the 2018 agreement, saying the South has "pulled the last remaining safety pin with its own hands." In an editorial carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, the North said it is "clear" that a "dismal consequence" will await the South, noting that the North's Defense Ministry has declared it will "never be bound" by the agreement.
The country also lashed out at the South over holding joint military drills with the US and Japan as part of their growing trilateral security cooperation, the report said. (end) mk.mt