Warning shots fired after North Korean soldiers cross border

By Isaac M June 11, 2024

South Korea’s military fired warning shots after about 20 North Korean soldiers briefly crossed the border over the weekend, officials said.

North Korean troops in the Demilitarised Zone that separates the two countries crossed the demarcation line on Sunday afternoon, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on Tuesday.

It comes amid a recent rise in tension over North Korea’s launch of balloons carrying trash into the South.

Colonel Lee Sung-jun said the military did not consider the recent breach to be intentional as the area was densely forested, obscuring border markings or any roads.

“They headed north immediately after our military’s warning broadcasts and warning shots, and there were no unusual movements,” he said of the border breach.

Yonhap news agency, citing an unnamed JCS official, reported the troops were mostly carrying pick axes and other tools and appeared to have become lost.

The South Korean military has previously fired warning shots at North Korean soldiers crossing the border, but most such incidents took place around the maritime border which Pyongyang has disputed.

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South Korea vowed to use loudspeakers against North

Also over the weekend, South Korea vowed to blast “unbearable” noise at North Korea for the first time since 2018 after Pyongyang sent more sewage-filled balloons over the border.

Seoul’s national security council said on Sunday it will restart loudspeaker broadcasts of anti-North Korean propaganda.

Three waves of sewage-filled balloons, filled with manure, cigarette butts, scraps of cloth, batteries and wastepaper, have been sent into the South since May.

North Korea has said the operation was in response to South Korean activists sending leaflets and propaganda over the demilitarised zone.

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