North and South Korea Exchange Gunfire as North Unintentionally Hits DMZ Guard Post

May 3, 2020 Updated: May 3, 2020

SEOUL—North and South Korea exchanged gunfire after multiple bullets from the north hit a guard post on the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone early on Sunday, raising tension a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended an almost three-week absence from public life with state media showing him visiting a factory.

The gunshots were fired from North Korea at 7:41 a.m. local time, the South’s joint chiefs of staffs (JCS) said in a statement. The South fired back with two shots following a broadcast warning of the action.

No injuries have been reported.

South Korean army soldiers sand guard inside a military guard post
South Korean army soldiers sand guard inside a military guard post in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, on May 3, 2020. (Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo)

The JCS said in an initial press release: “We are taking actions via inter-Korean communication lines to grasp the detailed situation and to prevent any further incidents. And we also maintain a necessary readiness posture.”

After weeks of intense speculation about Kim’s health and whereabouts, the country’s official media published photographs and a report on Saturday that Kim had attended the completion of a fertiliser plant, the first report of his appearance since April 11.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency later reported that the JCS had said that they did not view the North’s gunfire as an “intentional” action.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.