JCS chief visits front-line unit with UNC commander

December 22, 2023

South Korea’s top military officer and the commander of the U.S.-led U.N. Command (UNC) visited a central front-line unit this week to observe North Korean border activity, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Friday.

Adm. Kim Myung-soo and Gen. Paul LaCamera visited the unit inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas on Thursday, after the North scrapped a 2018 inter-Korean military pact last month designed to prevent clashes along the border.

Since scrapping the pact, the North has begun reinstalling guard posts and deploying heavy arms within the DMZ, according to the defense ministry.

“Adm. Kim and Gen. LaCamera observed changes in the situation in the border areas, including the guard post restoration efforts by the North Korean army, and assessed the readiness of the units,” the JCS said in an English-language release.

The UNC oversees the enforcement of the armistice of the 1950-53 Korean War, which has left the two Koreas in a technical state of war. LaCamera doubles as the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea.

On Nov. 23, the North vowed to restore all measures halted under the 2018 agreement after the South suspended part of the deal in protest of the North’s successful launch of a military spy satellite earlier that week.