World / Asia-Pacific

Fire breaks out in DPRK side of demilitarized zone

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-23 17:07

SEOUL - Fire broke out on Monday in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) side of the demilitarized zone, spreading to the Republic of Korea's side, Yonhap News Agency and YTN reported.

The fire, which started from the DPRK side near the Military Demarcation Line, spread to the ROK's side in front of the Dora Observatory, which is located on top of Mount Dora.

The observatory is the ROK's northernmost point in the western front, near which the inter-Korean transit office is situated for customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) for the ROK's workers traveling to and from the inter-Korean factory park in the DPRK's border city of Kaesong.

The fire spread to the ROK's side at about 1:15 pm local time. Going to and returning from the Kaesong industrial complex was banned from 2 pm.

Firefighting and military authorities were quoted as saying that border areas near the site were full of gray smoke and the fire spread south rapidly due to strong wind.

Seven fire engines and about 50 firefighters and soldiers were dispatched to the scene to stop the flames from spreading further. The military plans to send three firefighting helicopters to the site after receiving approval from the DPRK.

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