June 23, 2024

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South Korean forces fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers crossed the border

South Korean forces fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers crossed the border

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean soldiers fired warning shots after North Korean forces briefly breached the tense border earlier this week, the South Korean military said Tuesday, as the two rivals engage in Cold War-style crackdowns. like Launching balloons And Promotional broadcast.

From time to time, bloodshed and violent confrontations occurred on the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas, which is called the demilitarized zone. While Sunday’s incident occurred amid heightened tensions between the two Koreas, observers say it is unlikely to develop into another source of hostility, as South Korea believes the North Koreans did not intentionally commit the border incursion and that North Korea did not return fire either.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that at 12:30 noon on Sunday, some North Korean soldiers who were participating in unspecified actions on the northern side of the border crossed the military demarcation line that divides the two countries.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said those North Korean soldiers carrying construction tools – some of them armed – immediately returned to their territory after the South Korean military fired warning shots and issued a warning broadcast. She added that North Korea did not carry out any other suspicious activities.

Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Lee Sung-joon told reporters that the South Korean military assessed that the North Korean soldiers did not appear to have crossed the border intentionally because the site was a forested area and the military demarcation line markings were not clearly visible.

He did not provide me with further details. But South Korean media reports said about 20 to 30 North Korean soldiers entered South Korean territory about 50 meters (165 feet) away, likely after losing their way. Reports said that most of the North Korean soldiers were carrying shovels and other construction tools.

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The demilitarized zone, 248 kilometers (155 mi) long and 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) wide, is the most heavily armed border in the world. An estimated two million mines are scattered in and near the border, which is also guarded by a barbed wire fence, tank traps, and combat forces on both sides. It is the legacy of the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

On Sunday, South Korea resumed anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts over loudspeakers on its border in response to North Korea’s recent launch of balloons carrying dung and garbage across the border. South Korea said North Korea has installed its own loudspeakers on the border In response but not yet turned on.

North Korea said its balloon campaign was in response to South Korean activists launching their own balloons to drop propaganda leaflets critical of leader Kim Jong Un’s authoritarian rule, USB devices containing Korean pop songs, South Korean drama shows, and other items into the country. north korea.

North Korea is very sensitive to any external criticism of its political system, as most of its 26 million people do not have official access to foreign news. On Sunday night, Kim’s sister and senior official, Kim Yo Jong, warned of a “new response” if South Korea continues its loudspeaker broadcasts and refuses to halt civic leaflet campaigns.

The exchange of megaphones and balloons – both Cold War-style psychological warfare – has deepened tensions between the two Koreas, as talks on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions have remained stalled for years.

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