North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made a secret visit to a military unit near the inter-Korean border earlier in August, government sources told the Yonhap news agency.

Kim inspected the unit some 1 kilometer away from South Korea’s general outpost (GOP) in the central section of the border, the sources said. The trip was not covered by the state media.

South Korea’s military views the inspection as an unusual move that may signal Pyongyang’s new military provocations against Seoul, according to the sources.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense. On Monday, South Korea and the United States began their Ulchi – Freedom Guardian drills. The number of troops taking part in the exercises is unknown.

South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said the drills involve about the same number of troops as last year (some 50,000 people). Some 17,500 US troops are taking part, or 7,500 fewer than in 2016.

North Korea views the drills as hostile steps which fuel tensions on the Korean Peninsula. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said these are defensive exercises that are not aimed at escalating tensions.

 

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