US Troops Deny Winding Up North Korean Soldiers

Kim Dong Chul, center, a U.S. citizen detained in North Korea, is escorted to his trial Friday, April 29, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea. A North Korean court has sentenced an ethnic Korean U.S. citizen to 10 years in prison for what it called acts of espionage. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

North Korea’s claims that US soldiers have been provoking its troops with “disgusting acts” are unsubstantiated, according to the UN command in the demilitarised zone.

Pyongyang has alleged that American personnel were pointing their fingers at North Korean soldiers, making strange noises, and pulling “disgusting” facial expressions.

In a statement, the secretive state’s military warned US soldiers to end the “hooliganism” at the village which divides North and South Korea, or else they would meet a “dog’s death any time and any place”.

It was also claimed that US soldiers had encouraged fully armed South Korean troops to aim at their adversaries, which North Korea described as a “dangerous provocation”.

Christopher Bush, a spokesman for the UN command in the region, said the allegations were investigated but determined to be unfounded.

This is not the first time that North Korea has accused South Korean and US troops of trying to wind up its forces, and vice versa.

After Pyongyang conducted its first nuclear bomb test a decade ago, American soldiers claimed that North Korean troops were spitting across the demarcation line, flashing their middle fingers, and making throat-slashing gestures.

There are currently about 28,000 US troops deployed in South Korea in a bid to deter potential aggression from across the border.

The latest spat unfolded in Panmunjom, where an armistice heralding the end of the Korean War in 1953 was signed.

Despite being one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints, the village is popular with tourists – but guides regularly warn visitors against making gestures which could antagonise the North Korean soldiers nearby.

(c) Sky News 2016


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