North Korea Fire Artillery Near Border With South Korea

North Korea Fire Artillery Near Border With South Korea
Artillery fires during North Korea's "largest-ever" artillery drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People's Army (KPA) on April 25, 2017. (KCNA/via Reuters)
Aldgra Fredly

North Korea fired artillery rounds into its sea boundaries with South Korea on Tuesday in retaliation for South Korea’s annual military drills, which it regards as “provocative acts.”

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the North fired about 100 artillery rounds off its west coast around 10 p.m. (local time), followed by another 150 rounds off its east coast an hour later, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The artillery shells landed within maritime buffer zones established under a 2018 inter-Korean agreement that called for the cessation of hostile military activities between the two Koreas, JCS said.

South Korea said the artillery launch violated the inter-Korean agreement and demanded that North Korea cease its provocative actions immediately.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) later published a statement from the communist regime’s Korean People’s Army (KPA) General Staff, saying that the shots were fired in response to South Korea’s military drills.

The KPA said the artillery rounds were meant to send a “serious warning” to South Korea as the country’s “war drill against the North is going on in a frantic manner.”

“In order to send a serious warning, it made sure that KPA units on the east and west fronts conducted a threatening warning fire toward the east and west seas on the night of Oct. 18 as a powerful military countermeasure,” it stated.

South Korea on Monday began its annual Hoguk defense drill aimed at bolstering its ability to counter North Korea’s nuclear threats. The drill will run till Saturday and feature combined operations with the United States and Japan.
This marks the second time North Korea has fired artillery rounds into the buffer zones, the first being on Oct. 14 when it blasted about 560 rounds into the buffer zones.

Japan Sanctions North Korea

Japan’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday imposed additional sanctions on North Korea, targeting North Korea’s Ministry of Rocket Industry and four trading corporations over their role in the country’s nuclear development programs.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said that he condemned North Korea’s “series of provocative acts” as “totally unacceptable,” claiming that the North had fired 23 ballistic missiles this year, Kyodo News reported.
North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan on Oct. 4 for the first time in five years, prompting Japan’s government to issue an emergency alert that warned people in several regions to take shelter.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile flew 4,600 kilometers (2,858 miles) at an altitude of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), the longest-range missile that North Korea has launched so far.