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Military searching for land mines swept from N. Korea

South Korean military have found 16 wooden-boxed landmines believed to be washed away from North Korea due to heavy rains, and are searching for similar mines near the heavily fortified border area, the Joint Chief of Staff said Tuesday.

Front-line military units in Gyeonggi Province have collected 16 land mines, including 12 empty boxes, in downstream areas of the Imjin River and the Hantan River since mid-August, the JCS said.

Officials suspect the mines made their way south due to swollen water levels after two tropical storms hit the Korean Peninsula, including North’s Hwanghae Province and the nearby border city of Kaesong, in recent weeks.

The JCS said it has ordered subordinate units to check for any misplaced mines in border regions for the safety of residents.

“As wooden-boxed land mines float easily and don’t look like explosives on the surface, people may touch them out of curiosity,” Lee Boong-woo, a JCS official, said. “We advise people to report to nearby police or military units if they find wooden or plastic boxes.” (Yonhap News)