Dozens of North Korean land mines wash ashore in South Korea, killing one man and injuring another (North- and South Korea)

South Korean Army soldiers search for land mines near the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. A deadly menace washed up on the shores of South Korea this weekend: land mines from North Korea, still packed with explosives.


Two men fishing on Saturday found two of the mines, packaged in small wooden boxes, and tried to carry them home, The Associated Press reports.
One of the men was killed immediately when the land mine detonated, and the other suffered serious injuries and has been hospitalized.

Though North and South Korea have been in a ceasefire for over 50 years, land mines from the 1950-1953 Korean War are still scattered along the border.
Since Saturday, 35 mines have been discovered in South Korea, apparently washed ashore by torrential rain in the North.

"There have been heavy downpours recently in North Korea, and it appears that the landmines buried on the North Korean side have drifted south," an Army official told Korean news agency Yonhap. "We are conducting a thorough search along all streams that connect with North Korea."

Technically, the AP reports, the two nations are still at war, since the Korean War "ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty."
Earlier this month, North Korea threatened a physical strike against its Southern neighbor, warning that it would respond with "powerful nuclear deterrence" if South Korea conducted friendly naval drills with the U.S.

Von: Sunday, August 1st 2010, Daily News, by Meena Hartenstein

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