SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) — North Korea has yet to complete the construction of a military post on a uninhabited island near the tensely-guarded inter-Korean sea border in the Yellow Sea, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
The ministry has previously said the North is building a military camp on the North Korean island of Gal, located just 4.5 kilometers away from South Korea’s front-line Yeonpyeong Island, adding that it will be used as a guard post or a shore base to deploy 122-millimeter multiple rocket launchers.
“It seems that the facility has not reached a stage of completion,” Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in a regular briefing, refuting a news report on the facility.
The ministry will “evaluate and let you know if it’s complete or weapons are brought there,” Kim noted, adding the timing cannot be specified.
Earlier in the day, the mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that the North has finished constructing bunkers for multiple rocket launchers, barracks and a command post on the border island. It said forces and weapons will be deployed there from late July or early August.
The move to turn the border island into a military post would pose a “serious threat” to South Korean military operations, especially for Navy vessels patrolling the disputed sea border, Northern Limit Line, the ministry has said.
North Korea has often challenged the legitimacy of the NLL demarcation, drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations Command after the 1950-53 Korean War, launching frequent military provocations in the area.
The Korea Herald