North Korea fires artillery shells near border with South Korea

AP , Tuesday 18 Oct 2022

North Korea fired artillery shells near its sea border with South Korea late Tuesday, a day after the South began annual military drills to better deal with North Korean provocations.

North Korea
File Photo: North Korean artillery rolls past during a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea s founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea. AP


South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement early Wednesday that North Korea fired about 100 shells off its west coast and 150 rounds off its east coast. It said the South Korean military broadcast messages several times asking North Korea to stop the firing, but there were no reports of violence between the rivals.

South Korea's military said the shells didn't land in South Korean territorial waters but fell inside maritime buffer zones the two Koreas established under a 2018 inter-Korean agreement aimed at reducing front-line animosities.

It's the second time North Korea has fired shells into the buffer zones since last Friday, when it shot hundreds of shells there in its most significant direct violation of the 2018 agreement.

South Korea's military said North Korea must halt provocations that undermine peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. It added that it is boosting its readiness and is closely monitoring North Korean moves in coordination with the United States.

In recent weeks, North Korea has conducted a spate of missile and artillery launches in what some experts say is an attempt to expand its weapons arsenal and boost its leverage in future negotiations with its rivals.

Last Friday, North Korea test-launched a short-range ballistic missile off its east coast along with the artillery launches. The missile launch was North Korea's 15th since it resumed testing activities on Sept. 25.

North Korea said last week that its recent missile tests were simulations of nuclear strikes on South Korean and U.S. targets in response to their ``dangerous'' military exercises involving a U.S. aircraft carrier.

On Monday, South Korea's military began annual 12-day field exercises to hone its operational capabilities in response to various types of North Korean provocations. It said an unspecified number of U.S. troops will take part in this year's drills.

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