N.K. to redeploy troops to Kaesong, Mount Kumgang areas, rejects Seoul's offer for envoys

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SEOUL. KAZINFORM - North Korea said Wednesday it has rejected South Korea's offer to send special envoys and will redeploy troops to two inter-Korean business zones near the border, unrelentingly ratcheting up tensions a day after the regime blew up a joint liaison office, Yonhap reports.

The North's disclosure of its rejection of the special envoy proposal shows the regime has no intention to defuse tensions through dialogue and will carry out a series of measures it has threatened to take in anger over propaganda leaflets criticizing its leader.

As part of such measures, the General Staff of the Korean People's Army said it will send troops to the now-shuttered inter-Korean industrial complex in its border city of Kaesong and the Mount Kumgang tourist zone on the east coast -- two key symbols of inter-Korean reconciliation.

The North also said it will restore guard posts removed from the Demilitarized Zone separating the two sides and resume «all kinds of regular military exercises» near the inter-Korean border in an apparent move to abolish a military tension-reduction deal signed in 2018.

These measures came a day after the North blew up the liaison office building in Kaesong.

«Units of the regiment level and necessary firepower sub-units with defense mission will be deployed in the Mount Kumgang tourist area and the Kaesong Industrial Zone,» a spokesperson of the General Staff said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

«Civil police posts that had been withdrawn from the Demilitarized Zone under the north-south agreement in the military field will be set up again to strengthen the guard over the front line,» it said.

In a separate report, the KCNA also revealed that South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered to send special envoys to leader Kim Jong-un, but the North «flatly» rejected the proposal as a «tactless» and «sinister» proposal.

«Upon the urgent message sent by the south side in a hurry, Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, made known the stand that we flatly reject the tactless and sinister proposal,» the KCNA said, referring to leader Kim's sister.

Kim Yo-jong also issued a statement later, blasting South Korean President Moon over his recent speech urging the communist nation not to backtrack inter-Korean relations, and blaming Seoul for hurting cross-border ties.

On Monday, Moon delivered a speech to mark the 20th anniversary of the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000, calling for the North to leave the door for dialogue open and emphasizing the need for the two Koreas to build mutual trust based on the spirit of the historic meeting.

Kim called the speech «disgusting,» saying that it was full of excuses and deep-rooted toadyism without making an apology over leafleting and promised to prevent it but only trying to avoid responsibility.

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