Practice Relating to Rule 36. Demilitarized Zones
In 1996, in a letter to the President of the UN Security Council, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea transmitted a statement concerning the situation in the area of the military demarcation line. In the statement, claiming that the military authorities of the Republic of Korea had disregarded the armistice agreement, the spokesperson of the Panmunjom Mission of the Korean People’s Army drew up a list of alleged violations of the demilitarized zone. He declared, inter alia
, that the Republic of Korea had introduced tanks, various kinds of artillery pieces and heavy weapons, as well as a large number of armed military personnel, into the zone, and had even built large military facilities there. According to the spokesperson, the area’s status did not correspond to the real meaning of a demilitarized zone since it had been armed and turned into a new attack position. The spokesperson thus stated that the Korean People’s Army did not consider itself any longer bound by the article of the armistice agreement concerning the demilitarized zone, and announced that since the status of this zone could not be maintained any longer, “self-defensive measures” would be considered.