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North and South Korea exchange warning shots over ‘border intrusions’

North Korea and South Korea exchanged warning shots at their western sea border, raising concerns about possible clashes.

Both countries were accused of violating their maritime borders on Monday morning.

South Korea claimed that it sent warnings to deter a North Korean merchant vessel from crossing the sea border. The military said it had carried out a “normal operation over the intrusion.”

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that they urged North Korea to cease making provocations and making accusations that would harm peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and the international community.

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North Korea responded to the “naval enemy movement” by firing 10 rounds artillery shots from its coast defense units.

According to the official KCNA news agency, a spokesperson for the General Staff of the North’s Korean People’s Army stated that they had ordered “initial counter measures to strongly expell the enemy warship”.

Although there was no fighting reported between the sides, the border off the Korean Peninsula’s West Coast is a source for long-standing animosities.

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This latest firefight took place amid simmering military tensions. The North was conducting weapons tests at an unprecedented rate this year.

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Kim declares NK ready for nuclear weapons


“Could lead us to a serious exchange for fire”

North Korea launched hundreds of artillery rounds and short-range missiles off its east and western coasts in protest at South Korea’s military actions.

South Korea’s troops began their annual defense drills last week. This includes a four-day exercise that used 20 warships.

These drills are designed to increase the South’s military capability with the United States in order to counter North’s missile and nuclear threats.

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Experts believe that North Korea could continue its string of tests, launch its first nuclear test in five-years or launch other provocations if it continues to cooperate with the US and South.

Leif-Eric Easley, an Ewha University professor in Seoul, said that Pyongyang’s political strategy of blaming external dangers and projecting confidence with military capabilities can encourage greater risk taking.

“North Korean probe of South Korean perimeter defenses could lead to a serious firefight and unintended escalation.”

Already, the North has reacted angrily to drills by calling them provocations as well as threatening to take countermeasures.

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