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Updated January 6th, 2024 at 19:54 IST

North Korea unleashes new round of firings near western borders with South for second day in a row

As the tensions in the Korean peninsula escalate, North Korea fired around 60 artillery shells into the waters of its western coast on Saturday.

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol
North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol | Image:AP
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Seoul - As the tensions in the Korean peninsula escalate, North Korea fired around 60 artillery shells into the waters of its western coast on Saturday. According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, the South Korean military said that Pyongyang is currently conducting live-fire drills near the tensely guarded western border. The recent shelling came a day after North Korea fired 200 artillery shells near South's Yeonpyeong island. While giving an update on the situation, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) stated that it detected the artillery firings in the North's southwestern coastal areas. 

The JCS noted that the Saturday firings started at 4 pm (local time) and continued to rage on for an hour. According to the Yonhap both Friday and Saturday shells landed in a buffer zone that was created under a 2018 military accord that fell apart last year. "North Korea, following its claim of the complete nullification of the 'September 19 Military Agreement', continues to threaten our citizens with ongoing artillery fire within the prohibited hostile act zone," the JCS said on Saturday, alluding to the 2018 deal. Seoul insisted that the "repeated artillery fire within the prohibited hostile act zone by North Korea poses a threat to the peace on the Korean Peninsula and escalates tensions".

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US kept in loop

Following the Friday attacks, JCS added that the South Korean military is now working with the United States to track and monitor related movements. "We will take appropriate actions corresponding to North Korea’s provocation,” the JCS averred. North Korea previously fired multiple rounds of artillery into the maritime buffer zones in late 2022. Yeonpyeong Island lies off South Korea’s northwest coast and has been one of the epicentres of conflict between the two sides for years. In November 2010, Pyongyang unleashed a lethal attack on the island following coastal military drills by South Korea. According to CNN, the clash was one of the worst flare-ups of violence the Korean peninsula witnessed in years. Even the then-UN Secretary-General called North Korea’s attack “one of the gravest incidents since the end of the Korean War.” It is important to note that the attack came days after North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un said that the hermit nation is no longer seeking reconciliation and reunification with South Korea.

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Published January 6th, 2024 at 17:08 IST

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