SEOUL, South Korea ( Associated Press) – North Korea’s military says it has ordered its frontline units to fire artillery into the sea for the second day in a row in response to South Korea’s artillery drills in an inland border area. ,
The statement issued by the North Korean People’s Army General Staff came a day after Pyongyang fired nearly 130 artillery shells into waters near its western and eastern maritime borders with South Korea, in the latest military action that escalated tensions between the two countries. Is. An unnamed North Korean military spokesman said Tuesday’s artillery fire was a warning to South Korea after North Korea detected signs of South Korean artillery exercises in the border area.
The South Korean military is conducting live ammunition drills involving multiple launch rocket systems and howitzers at two different test ranges in the Cheorwon area, which began on Monday and will continue until Wednesday.
North Korea’s military said on Monday it had instructed its west and east coast units to fire warning cannons after dozens of South Korean shells were spotted flying southeast from the Cheorwon area.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North Korean projectile landed inside the northern part of the buffer zone created under a 2018 inter-Korean agreement to reduce military tensions and urged Pyongyang to abide by the accord.
It is the first time North Korea has fired weapons toward neutral maritime zones since November 3, when about 80 artillery shells landed on the North Korean side of the area off North Korea’s east coast.
North Korea has fired dozens of missiles this year, including several tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile system capable of reaching the United States mainland, and an intermediate-range missile launched over Japan.
North Korea has also carried out a series of short-range launches of what it described as simulated nuclear strikes against South Korean and American targets, in a furious reaction to the expansion of joint US-South Korean military drills, which North Korea has blamed on the North’s tests. considers. a possible attack.
Experts say North Korea hopes to negotiate economic and security concessions from a position of strength and force the United States to accept it as a nuclear power. South Korean officials have said North Korea may soon conduct a new nuclear test, its first since 2017.