Written by Lahiru Fernando
20 Aug, 2015 | 3:36 pm
According to international media reports, North Korea has fired shots across the western stretch of the border into South Korea, as Seoul responded with artillery fire.
Conflicting stories have arisen over the incident. According to Sky News, South Korean Media has stated “The North is believed to have been aiming at a loudspeaker in a border town that has been blaring anti-Pyongyang broadcasts recently” while South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency stated “South Korea’s counter-battery radar detected North Korea firing shells at the South Korean military along the western border, forcing Seoul to return fire with scores of its own rockets”
In response to the attack, South Korea has reportedly replied with dozens of 155-millimeter artillery rounds towards North Korea.
State run South Korean KBS News quoted a South Korean military official saying that North Korea opened fire at around 4 pm local time (7pm GMT) on the western front.
About 80 residents in the South Korean town Yeoncheon, where the shell fell, were evacuated to underground bunkers, and authorities have urged other residents to evacuate. There have been no reports of injuries or damage in Yeoncheon.
According to South Korea’s defense ministry, surveillance equipment has detected the trajectories of suspected rockets and is investigating the incident. The ministry also stated that the South Korean military has stepped up its monitoring process and is closely watching the military movements of its neighboring North.
North Korea had previously promised to retaliate against the broadcasts, which criticize alleged provocations from Pyongyang and praising South Korea’s democracy.
Seoul began the broadcasts after claiming the North had laid land mines in the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone that maimed two of its soldiers on the 4th of August. The North has denied involvement in the incident.
At a time when cross-border tensions have been elevated as a result of the landmine attack, Today’s, August 20, shelling comes just days after it was announced that tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops will carry out a large-scale military exercise to simulate an all-out attack by North Korea.
Sources: Sky news, Yonhap and Daily Mail
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