PANMUNJOM — A top-ranking United Nations Command official Tuesday called last month’s breach of the Demilitarized Zone’s southern fence line a well-planned effort that most likely involved knowledge of Republic of Korea Army guard movements along the fence.

Evidence so far indicates the person or persons responsible for cutting three 18-inch-square holes in the fence “clearly had planned and had knowledge of these procedures,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Kane, senior U.S. member of the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission, stated during a press briefing at the Joint Security Area.

ROK Army guards on duty before the discovery were monitoring the border with random checks, an appropriate procedure, Kane noted.

Still, those responsible “had just the equipment they needed to cut through the fence,” he told reporters during a press tour Tuesday. “It was a precision cut.”

The South Korean military discovered the holes in the fence on Oct. 26. Initially, the Korean military indicated it believed North Koreans had infiltrated the South. A day later, the Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said they believed a civilian defecting to the North made the holes.

Kane praised the South Korean response to the incident and the investigation so far.

“This one event, while serious, was dealt with effectively,” he said. “This was an isolated event.”

He did note, however, that determining how many people may have crossed through the fence, if any, has been hard to determine. By the time UNC investigators arrived at the site, any footprints had been trampled.

Last week, the South Korean military relieved the commanders of the platoon, company and battalion responsible for patrolling the DMZ section where the holes were found. According to the Ministry of National Defense, division and regimental commanders responsible for the area were referred to a disciplinary board.

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