North Korea fires 'warning' artillery shells into maritime 'buffer zones'

Pyongyang warns Seoul to immediately stop its ongoing military drills.

North Korea fires 'warning' artillery shells into maritime 'buffer zones'

North Korea last night again fired artillery rounds into maritime “buffer zones" and warned South Korea to immediately stop its ongoing military drills.

In a statement on Wednesday, the North Korean People's Army (KPA) said last night's artillery firing was in response to the South Korean military who fired dozens of shells of multiple rocket launchers in the forefront area of Cholwon County, South Kangwon Province, on Tuesday.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is getting worse due to the enemies' repeated military provocations in the forefront area," said the KPA spokesman in a statement published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang called the ongoing South Korean annual military exercises that started on Monday "enemy's war drill against the north" and said they send a serious warning once again.

"It made sure that KPA units on the east and west fronts conducted a threatening, warning fire toward the east and west seas in the night of Oct. 18, as a powerful military countermeasure," said the North military spokesman, adding "enemies should immediately stop the reckless and inciting provocations escalating the military tension in the forefront area."

Earlier, South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said that North Korea fired some 100 artillery rounds into the Yellow Sea and 150 into the East Sea last night

The artillery shells fell into eastern and western buffer zones north of the Northern Limit Line, Yonhap News Agency cited a statement by the JCS.

On Friday, North Korea also fired a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) into the East Sea and fired 170 artillery shots into maritime “buffer zones.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called the move violation of the 2018 agreement. He was referring to a 2018 agreement between the two countries, which created buffer zones along land and sea boundaries and no-fly zones above the border.

Tension on Korean Peninsula further grew after recent military drills by South Korea and the US and North Korean missile tests.

On Sunday, the South Korean presidency warned that North Korea is expected to carry out its seventh nuclear test at any time.

Earlier, on Friday, North Korea fired another short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) into the East Sea, two days after firing two long-range strategic cruise missiles, involving units operating "tactical nukes.”

On Oct. 4, the US and South Korean forces held live-fire joint drills after North Korea fired a missile over Japan for the first time in five years.

Tensions in the region began in 2020 when North Korea attacked and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office along the border. Seoul has threatened a strong response if Pyongyang "further worsens the situation."

Hüseyin Demir

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