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As a warning to South Korea, North Korea fires artillery along the border

By 12/05/2022 3:26 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

On Monday, North Korea launched roughly 130 artillery shells into the water close to its western and eastern sea borders with South Korea, the most recent military move that has strained ties between the two countries.

According to North Korea’s military, the firings were warning shots against ongoing South Korean artillery drills near the inland border town of Cheorwon, and the South was to blame for escalating tensions.

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the North Korean weapons shot on Monday afternoon from North Korea’s western and eastern coastal areas fell beyond the northern side of buffer zones established by a 2018 inter-Korean agreement to lessen military tensions.

There were no reports of shells hitting South Korean territorial seas at the time.

The military of South Korea claimed that it warned North Korea verbally about the firings and pleaded with it to abide by the agreement.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff stated in a statement that the South Korean and American forces were closely watching North Korea’s military operations and enhancing their readiness to react to any “possible contingency.”

From Monday through Wednesday, the South Korean army engages in live-fire drills using howitzers and various rocket launchers at two testing fields in the Cherowon area.

The North Korean dismissals also occurred a few days after Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo issued primarily symbolic sanctions against select North Korean individuals and institutions allegedly involved in illegal activities to fund the nation’s nuclear and missile programs.

An unnamed spokesperson for the North Korean People’s Army’s General Staff said in a statement distributed through state media that North Korea had told its western and eastern coastal units to fire artillery as a warning after seeing dozens of South Korean projectiles flying southeast from the Cheorwon region.

The spokesperson stated, “We strongly advise the enemy side to exercise caution and avoid unnecessarily fanning the flames of escalation of tension in the area surrounding the front.”

Since Nov. 3, when over 80 artillery shells fell on North Korea’s side of the zone off its eastern coast, this was the first time North Korea had fired weapons into the maritime buffer zones.

This year, North Korea has conducted a record number of missile tests, including several intercontinental ballistic missile systems that may penetrate deep into the U.S. mainland and an intermediate-range missile shot over Japan.

In retaliation for the expansion of joint military drills between the United States and South Korea, which North Korea views as drills for an impending invasion, North Korea also carried out several short-range launches that it described as nuclear simulations against South Korean and American targets.

According to experts, North Korea wants to use its nuclear capability to pressure the United States into accepting economic and security concessions from a position of strength.

According to South Korean officials, North Korea may soon step up the ante by conducting its first nuclear test since 2017.

The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, is expected to address the deteriorating relations with Washington and Seoul over the expansion of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs at a significant political conference that will likely take place before the end of the year, according to North Korean state media last week.

One of the few visible relics of the nations’ fleeting diplomacy in 2018 is the inter-Korean military accord that established the buffer zones.

Moon Jae-in, a former president of South Korea, met Kim Jong Un three times that year and was instrumental in organizing the first summit between Kim and a former U.S. president. Donald Trump is the president.

But after the second Kim-Trump summit collapsed in February 2019 and the Americans rejected North Korean demands for a significant lifting of U.S.-led sanctions in exchange for a partial surrender of the North’s nuclear weapons, the inter-Korean dialogues never fully recovered.

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