NKorea Building Roads, Walls Inside Demilitarized Zone

This handout image from Planet Labs PBC taken on June 11, 2024 and received on June 12, 2024 shows a view of the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang. (Photo by Handout / Planet Labs PBC / AFP)
This handout image from Planet Labs PBC taken on June 11, 2024 and received on June 12, 2024 shows a view of the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang. (Photo by Handout / Planet Labs PBC / AFP)
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NKorea Building Roads, Walls Inside Demilitarized Zone

This handout image from Planet Labs PBC taken on June 11, 2024 and received on June 12, 2024 shows a view of the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang. (Photo by Handout / Planet Labs PBC / AFP)
This handout image from Planet Labs PBC taken on June 11, 2024 and received on June 12, 2024 shows a view of the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang. (Photo by Handout / Planet Labs PBC / AFP)

North Korea's military has been building roads and walls inside the Demilitarized Zone that separates it from the South, the Yonhap news agency reported Saturday.

The construction activities are taking place north of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that runs through the middle of the DMZ, the South Korean agency said, citing an unnamed military source.

The report follows an incident last week when South Korean forces fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers briefly crossed the MDL.

South Korean authorities said it was likely accidental, and Yonhap quoted a military spokesman as saying some of the North Koreans were carrying work tools.

"Recently, the North Korean military has been erecting walls, digging the ground and constructing roads in some areas between the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) and the Northern Limit Line in the DMZ," the military source said, according to Yonhap on Saturday.

It was not clear what they were building, the source told Yonhap.

When asked about the report, the South Korean military said in a statement that it was "closely tracking and monitoring the activities of the North Korean military", and that "further analysis is required".

It said it could not share the South Korean response to these actions "to ensure the safety of the personnel proceeding with an operation", without offering further details.

South Korea's spy agency told AFP this week that it had detected signs that North Korea was demolishing sections of a railway line connecting the two countries.

That followed an escalation in the propaganda war between the two Koreas.

North Korea sent more than a thousand balloons carrying trash into the South, describing them as retaliation for the propaganda balloons sent the other way by anti-Pyongyang activists.

Then, South Korea resumed blasting K-pop songs and news broadcasts at the North, using loudspeakers installed at the border.

The resumption of the loudspeaker campaign prompted Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, to threaten an unspecified "new countermeasure".



China's Xi Urges All-out Rescue Efforts after Deadly Highway Bridge Collapse

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a collapsed bridge is seen in Zhashui County in Shangluo City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Saturday, July 20, 2024. (Xinhua via AP)
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a collapsed bridge is seen in Zhashui County in Shangluo City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Saturday, July 20, 2024. (Xinhua via AP)
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China's Xi Urges All-out Rescue Efforts after Deadly Highway Bridge Collapse

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a collapsed bridge is seen in Zhashui County in Shangluo City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Saturday, July 20, 2024. (Xinhua via AP)
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a collapsed bridge is seen in Zhashui County in Shangluo City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Saturday, July 20, 2024. (Xinhua via AP)

President Xi Jinping urged all-out rescue efforts after a highway bridge collapse on Friday in Shaanxi province in China's northwest killed 11 people, state media reported on Saturday.

The incident occurred at 8:40 p.m. in Shangluo city on Friday when a highway bridge collapsed due to a flash flood, causing some vehicles to fall into the river.

As of 10 a.m. on Saturday, five vehicles were confirmed to have fallen into the water and 30 people were reported missing, state media said.

Xi said China is in a critical period for flood control and local governments must take responsibility to enhance monitoring and early warning.

A photo released by the official Xinhua News Agency showed a section of the bridge snapped and folded down at almost a 90-degree angle into the rushing brown water below.

China's national fire and rescue authority said on Saturday it had dispatched a rescue team to the site that included 859 people, 90 vehicles, 20 boats and 41 drones.

China's western and southwestern provinces are particularly prone to flooding and landslides due to their mountainous landscapes and the powerful rivers that run through them. Mining, tourism and rising urbanization have also disturbed a precarious balance with the natural environment that had been sustained over thousands of years.