North Korea fires artillery barrage in ‘warning’ to Seoul’s live-fire drills

North Korea

The Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that North Korea fired over 130 artillery rounds on Monday, which landed in the water off its east and west coasts. The shells’ close proximity to the de facto sea border, which Seoul claimed to be a violation of the 2018 bilateral military pact.

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, artillery fire was heard starting at 2:59 p.m. from Jangsan Cape in South Hwanghae Province and Kumgang County in Kangwon Province (JCS). The shells landed in the maritime safety zones that had been set up by an inter-Korean military pact.

“The artillery firings into the eastern and western maritime buffer zones are a clear violation of the September 19 military accord, and we strongly urge the North to immediately halt them,” the JCS said, according to Yonhap news agency.

The South Korean military is strengthening its readiness posture in anticipation of a potential contingency, it was added, and tracking and monitoring related North Korean movements in conjunction with the United States.

Later that day, the North Korean military admitted that it had used artillery shells as retaliation for South Korea’s live-fire drills.

“An emergency order was issued to troops at the frontier to monitor the enemies’ motions and prepare for rapid counterattacks. In addition, the troops at the eastern and western frontiers were ordered to counter-fire some 130 marine artillery shells,” Yonhap news agency stated, quoting the spokesperson of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army as saying.

North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) toward the East Sea on Friday earlier in November, according to the South Korean military, in retaliation for the US decision to strengthen its “extended deterrence” protection of South Korea and Japan.

This declaration was made on the same day that South Korea and the US conducted airstrikes against military targets connected to North Korea’s missile development.

“Kim Jong Un solemnly declared that if the enemies continue to pose threats, … our party and government will resolutely react to nukes with nuclear weapons and to total confrontation with all-out confrontation,” the official KCNA news agency said.
The launch is presumed to have involved the Hwasong-17 ICBM, according to Yonhap, the same ICBM was test-fired on November 3, but the launch was seen as a failure.