SEOUL, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Tensions may have subsided on the Korean peninsula, but Seoul is not ruling out the possibility of a North Korea rocket launch as the South Korean military steps up a campaign against provocations inside the demilitarized zone.
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said Seoul does not exclude the possibility of a North Korea satellite launch around Oct. 10, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party, South Korean news network YTN reported Thursday.
Speaking before the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee during a parliamentary audit, Yun said the government remains on alert and is monitoring the North Korea situation.
North Korea launched rockets in 2012 at Sohae Satellite Launching Station near the China border. The expandable carrier rocket Unha-3 fell into the Yellow Sea, and the debris of a second stage launch fell into the Philippine Sea after an object had entered orbit. The actions violated international law and an agreement that Pyongyang would stop missile launches.
The landmark Aug. 25 deal between North and South to end tensions at the border also has not ruled out potential provocations inside the DMZ, according to South Korea's military.
Defense Minister Han Min-koo said Thursday the military is boosting "preparedness" against future North Korean provocations and decoys in the aftermath of the land mine explosions that critically injured two South Korean soldiers in August. Seoul has said the land mines were of North Korean origin, but Pyongyang has denied responsibility for the incident.
South Korean television network KBS reported that Seoul has taken a relatively passive approach to North Korean incursions south of the Military Demarcation Line that bisects the DMZ, but Han's statement was an indication any North Korean soldiers trespassing without permission would face retaliation.
South Korea's Defense Ministry released a report indicating North Korea had crossed into the South's zone 13 times by land, 47 times by sea and six times by air between 2010 and 2015.