North Korea was accused of a deliberate unprovoked attack on a work party in the Korean Demilitarised Zone, when the 337th meeting of the Combined Military Armistice Commission was held in Panmunjon on Monday (12 March).
North Korea was accused of a deliberate unprovoked attack on a work party in the Korean Demilitarised Zone, when the 337th meeting of the Combined Military Armistice Commission was held in Panmunjon on Monday (12 March). United States Marine Major General Fred E. Haynes said a South Korean party, replacing demarcation markers in the Demilitarised Zone, was fired upon by North Koreans. He said the North Koreans continued firing despite repeated loudspeaker appeals to stop, and that the North had been informed in advance about the mission.
North Korea countercharge that the South Korean group was spying, and that South Korea fired 9,000 rounds into the North over a six hour period. The incident was the first since September, 1971. It ended with two South Korean soldiers dead and another wounded.
The clash happened just as both sides were hoping to achieve closer cooperation. On Friday (9 March) it was announced that the co-ordinating committee set up to conduct negotiations would be resuming discussions after a 14-week recess.
SYNOPSIS: In Panmujon the 337th session of the Korean Combined Military Armistice Commission was convened this week to discuss serious charges of violations in the Demilitarised Zone.
The North Korean representatives heard a strong complaint from the senior United States representative, marine Major General Fred E. Haynes.
He produced film and other evidence concerning an incident five days before in which two South Korean soldiers were killed end a third injured. General Heynes said they'd been deliberately attacked by North Korean troops while carrying out duties in the demilitarised zone.
Their mission involved replacing marker posts, and General Haynes said the North Koreans knew of the party's movements because they'd been informed in advance.
The North Koreans countercharged that the team were in fact on a spying mission, and accused the South of a six-hour shooting attack.