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North Korea fires artillery barrage in ‘warning’ to South Korea

Around 130 artillery rounds were fired simultaneously by Northern forces in a border area in what he described as a ‘tit for tat’ movement.

North Korea fired a volley of artillery shells at a maritime buffer zone, the latest in a series of provocative military moves that angered South Korea.

About 130 artillery shells were fired simultaneously at 14:59 pm (0559 GMT) from two separate sites, one on North Korea’s east coast and one on the west coast, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement on Monday.

The North Korean military said it was a warning against ongoing South Korean artillery exercises near the inland border city of Cheorwon, blaming the South for worsening tensions.

Seoul’s military said the shelling was a “clear violation” of the 2018 agreement between the North and South that established the buffer zone in a bid to reduce tensions.

He said none of the shells crossed the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border between the two countries.

The army said it had issued “several warnings” about the bombing, without elaborating.

“Our military is strengthening its emergency preparedness posture while tracking and monitoring related developments under close cooperation between South Korea and the United States,” it added.

The North Korean military said it fired artillery shells as a “tit for an eye” warning in response to South Korea firing dozens of shells earlier that day. reported the state news agency KCNA.

“We sternly warn the enemy side to be prudent and not fan the flame of unnecessary escalation of tension in the area around the front,” an unnamed spokesman said.

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At a summit in Pyongyang in 2018, former South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to establish buffer zones along land and sea borders in a bid to reduce pressures. tensions.

But since the talks collapsed in 2019, Kim has doubled down on his banned weapons programs, and experts say he may now be testing South Korea by violating the buffer zone agreement.

Pyongyang has fired artillery into the buffer zone repeatedly in recent months.

It has also carried out a record barrage of missile launches in recent weeks, including its newest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last month, the most powerful such test yet conducted by the nuclear-armed country.

Pyongyang, which is barred from testing ballistic missiles by UN Security Council resolutions, has repeatedly claimed its weapons tests are a legitimate response to Washington’s moves to increase protection it offers its allies Seoul and Tokyo.

Officials and analysts in Seoul and Washington say the launches may become a seventh nuclear test.

North Korean state media said last week that leader Kim has called a major political conference before the end of the year, in which he is expected to address increasingly tense relations with Washington and Seoul over the expansion of the programs. North Korea’s nuclear and missile

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