Seoul: Dozens of land mines have washed up on
South Korean shores over the weekend, apparently swept down
from North Korea by torrential rains. One killed a man and
wounded another, the military said today.
Two men discovered two mines in wooden boxes floating in
a river while they were fishing near the border with North
Korea yesterday night, according to an officer with the Joint
Chiefs of Staff.
One mine exploded while they were carrying them home,
killing one of the men immediately, said the official on
condition of anonymity, citing department policy. The other
man was seriously wounded and was taken to a nearby hospital.
The land mines can be triggered by a slight pressure, he
said. It was not clear if the men knew the objects they picked
up were mines.
A total of 35 such mines have been swept to South Korea
since yesterday, apparently riding rapids triggered by heavy
rains in the North, according to the Defence Ministry.
Later today, South Korea sent a message urging North
Korea to take appropriate measures preventing land mines from
being washed downstream to the south, the Defence Ministry
said in a statement.
The two Koreas are still technically at war because their
1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace
treaty. Their 155-mile-long (250-kilometer-long) border is
strewn with mines.