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A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea’s missile launch during a news programme at the Seoul Railway Station in South Korea on 14 October
North Korea

North Korea fires artillery shells near border with South Korea

This comes a day after the South began annual military drills to better deal with North Korean provocations.

NORTH KOREA HAS fired artillery shells near its sea border with South Korea – a day after the South began annual military drills to better deal with North Korean provocations.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that North Korea fired about 100 shells off its west coast and 150 rounds off its east coast tonight.

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 did not 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 is 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 said it is boosting its readiness and closely monitoring North Korean moves in co-ordination with the US.

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 25 September.

North Korea said last week its recent missile tests were simulations of nuclear strikes on South Korean and US targets in response to their “dangerous” military exercises involving a US aircraft carrier.

Yesterday, 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 US troops will take part in this year’s drills.

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