Seoul says DPRK fired artillery near its sea border for third straight day

A general view of fire assault drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Photo/Reuters Archive)

South Korea says North Korea has fired artillery shells near the sea boundary for a third straight day.

South Korea's military said the North fired more than 90 rounds on Sunday afternoon, strongly urging Pyongyang to halt provocative acts.

The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un mocked South Korea's ability to detect weapons launches by the North, as she denied Seoul's claim that North Korea fired artillery shells into the sea the previous day.

South Korea's military quickly dismissed her statement as "a low-level psychological warfare" and warned that it would make a stern response to any provocations by North Korea.

South Korea's military earlier said North Korea fired shells near the disputed western sea boundary for a second consecutive day on Saturday. The military said North Korea fired more than 60 rounds on Saturday, a day after launching more than 200 shells.

North Korea acknowledged it performed artillery firings on Friday but said it didn't fire a single round on Saturday.

Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong, said Sunday that North Korea only detonated blasting powder simulating the sound of its coastal artillery at the seashore to test the South Korean military's detection capabilities.

"The result was clear as we expected. They misjudged the blasting sound as the sound of gunfire and conjectured it as a provocation. And they even made a false and impudent statement that the shells dropped north" of the sea boundary, Kim Yo-jong said in a statement carried by state media.

"I cannot but say that (South Korean) people are very pitiful as they entrust security to such blind persons and offer huge taxes to them," she said. "It is better 10 times to entrust security to a dog with a developed sense of hearing and smell."

South Korea will 'overwhelmingly' react

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff responded in a statement that it closely monitors North Korean military activities. It said North Korea must stop acts that escalate tensions, saying it will "overwhelmingly" react if North Korea launches provocations.

Animosities between the two Koreas are running high because North Korea has conducted a barrage of missile tests since 2022 while South Korea has expanded its military training with the United States in a tit-for-tat cycle.

North Korea's artillery firings Friday prompted South Korea to carry out its own firing exercises. The shells launched by the two Koreas fell at a maritime buffer zone they had established under a 2018 military agreement meant to ease front-line military tensions.

The agreement was meant to halt live-fire exercises, aerial surveillance and other hostile acts along their tense border, but the deal is now in danger of collapsing because the two countries have taken measures in breach of the accord.


Source: TRT