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S. Korea warns citizens to avoid travel to N. Korean borders in China

The South Korean Embassy in Beijing issued a rare travel warning Monday, advising its citizens not to travel to North Korean border regions in China, as marathon talks between Seoul and Pyongyang to defuse military tensions dragged on.

High-level officials of the two Koreas have been holding crisis talks for a third day on Monday, following a series of fiery rhetoric and warnings of a war by North Korea.

"Currently, inter-Korean tension is escalating and our government is closely monitoring the possibility of additional provocations by North Korea," the travel warning read.

"Given the situation, the Embassy advises our citizens to avoid travels to North Korea-China border regions," it said.

Tensions between the two Koreas began escalating after an investigation found that the North secretly planted landmines on the southern side of the border, which exploded and severely injured two South Korean soldiers early this month.

The South retaliated by resuming anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts along the border, dealing a blow to one of the sore points for a regime underpinned by the tight control of information. An angered North Korea fired artillery rounds into the South earlier last week, which led to a rare exchange of fire between the two sides.

North Korea had threatened to take strong military action unless the South halts the broadcasts and dismantles the loudspeaker facilities by Saturday afternoon. But just hours before the deadline, the North proposed to hold talks to defuse the crisis. (Yonhap)
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