Shots Fired Between North and South Korea
BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA — Thursday afternoon, local time, North Korean forces fired a single round–reported to be either a rocket or artillery shell–into South Korea. The South responded with dozens of artillery rounds (as many as one hundred and twenty according to one report.) The official order, from a South Korean General, was to ‘Boldly pull the trigger.’ They’re so dramatic over here.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency and the A.P have reported that around two thousand residence in a nearby border town have been evacuated. No casualties were reported on the South Korean side.
The scuffle happened after the South resumed propaganda broadcasts from loudspeakers along the DMZ, the area that divides North and South. This is the first time the speakers have been used in 11 years. Last week the North threatened military action if the speakers were not silenced.
South Korean and American forces are currently conducting their annual joint military exercises, something that frequently provokes rage from the other Korea.
This comes amid speculation of instability in the North. Since early 2015 Kim Jong Un has executed several of his inner circle, most recently his defense minister. There are reports that other high level North Koreans have defected. Un has been using anti-aircraft guns (horizontal at close range) as a method of execution.
The two Koreas are technically still at war. The 1953 ‘end’ of the Korean war was only a cease-fire. Although violent provocations from the North are not uncommon, full on exchanges of artillery fire are.
Charles Daly, reporting from Busan, South Korea.