North Korea has urged U.S. forces to stop their alleged hostile acts against the communist country near a neutral village on the inter-Korean border, the state news agency said Tuesday.
The North Korean military's top security officer in Panmunjom on Monday accused the U.S. forces of conducting surveillance and espionage against the North by setting up a huge steel watchtower in the village separating the rival Koreas, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
The officer also claimed that the U.S. forces spied on the North far beyond Panmunjom by using various kinds of surveillance and eavesdropping equipment in the tower.
North Korean soldiers in Panmunjom are fully combat-ready to counter what the North claims are U.S. provocative moves, the officer said.
"We solemnly demand the U.S. forces side stop at once all the hostile acts seriously rattling the nerves of the other side," the officer said in comments carried by the KCNA.
"The combatants of the KPA in Panmunjom will never pardon any slightest provocation by the U.S. forces side in the sensitive area of Panmunjom," referring to the official name of the North's military.
A U.S. military official in Seoul said the U.S. notified the North that it was building the tower in Panmunjom.
Still, he declined to say how far the tower can monitor North Korea, citing security reasons. He said North Korea has its own tower near the area for apparent monitoring of South Korean and U.S. troops.
About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea, including Panmunjom, to help deter possible military aggression by the North. (Yonhap)