World, Asia - Pacific

Second S.Korean soldier dies after border explosion

Death toll rises following suspected accident during Friday's military exercise at inter-Korean border

19.08.2017
Second S.Korean soldier dies after border explosion FILE PHOTO

By Alex Jensen

SEOUL

A second South Korean serviceman died Saturday after being injured in what appeared to be a firing drill accident near the border with North Korea on Friday, the local military confirmed.

Initially, one soldier was killed following the explosion of a self-propelled howitzer during the exercise in Cheorwon while six other injured soldiers were rushed to hospital.

Yonhap News Agency, citing the military, said a serviceman being treated at Armed Forces Capital Hospital in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, died early Saturday morning.

An investigation is ongoing into what caused the explosion at an already tense border area closely guarded by thousands of troops from both Koreas.

The Defense Ministry also stated its condolences and vowed to "do our best to support the probe and other follow-up measures for soldiers".

Meanwhile, South Korea will go ahead with more joint military drills with the United States from Monday, despite ongoing threats from North Korea, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff announced Friday.

Pyongyang views such exercises as evidence of allied plans for an invasion and a justification for its rogue development of nuclear weapons.

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