Two Koreas exchange gunfire along fortified border
SOUTH KOREA: North and South Korean troops along their heavily
fortified border exchanged gunfire for the first time in about a year, a
military official said on Tuesday, with the incident coming as
once-warming ties have turned chilly.
North Korean troops fired two shots at a South Korean guard post near
the Demilitarised Zone late on Monday and South Korean troops returned
six shots, an official said by telephone. "No one was injured in the
incident," the Joint Chiefs of Staff official said referring to South
There was no word if any North Korean soldiers were hurt.
The Joint Chiefs issued a statement saying the U.N. Command Military
Armistice Commission, which monitors the truce between the two countries
still technically at war, will look into the border skirmish.
One of the shots hit the guard post, causing South Korean troops to
immediately return fire, the official said.
Ties between the two Koreas had been warming in recent years as they
reached a number of agreements on economic cooperation and military
The last time there was an exchange of gunfire along the DMZ was in
October 2005, the official said, when North Korea fired a bullet toward
a South Korean guard post and the South returned fire. The two had a
major naval clash along a disputed maritime border in 2002, resulting in
deaths and casualties on both sides.
North Korea defied international warnings and test-fired seven
missiles about a month ago. At an inter-Korean ministerial meeting in
July, Seoul pressed Pyongyang to explain why it had launched the
missiles. Seoul said it would suspend food aid until Pyongyang returned
to stalled six-country talks on ending its nuclear weapons programme.
North Korean delegates stormed out of the meeting and said the South
would "pay a price" for spoiling inter-Korean ties.
Since then, North Korea has halted several projects with the South,
including the reunion of families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War.
Seoul, Tuesday, AP