North Korea fires artillery into buffer area, Seoul cries foul

SEOUL: North Korea on Wednesday fired a barrage of artillery into the waters off the country for the second day in a row, targeting a maritime “buffer zone” set up in 2018 to ease tensions with the South.
Pyongyang has dramatically stepped up missile launches and military exercises in recent weeks, as Seoul and Washington say the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about to conduct the country’s seventh nuclear test.
About 100 shells were fired from South Hwanghae Province into the West Sea at around 12:30 p.m. (GMT 0330) Wednesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, calling it a “clear violation” ” for the 2018 agreement.
“North Korea’s continued provocations not only undermine peace and security on the Korean peninsula but also the international community. We strongly urge North Korea to immediately stop its actions.” , the JCS said in a statement.
It said no projectiles landed in waters south of the South Korean buffer zone.
Pyongyang on Wednesday said the latest attack was aimed at countering a “military provocation” by South Korean troops along the border earlier in the day.
“The enemy fired more than 10 projectiles of multiple rocket launchers in the frontline area off the front lines occupied by the KPA’s 5th Army between 8:27 and 9:40 a.m. Wednesday,” a spokesman for the KPA said. The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said in a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
“The enemy’s repeated military provocations in frontline areas must be stopped now.”
The latest attack marks North Korea’s second consecutive day of military provocation. It launched about 250 projectiles into the maritime buffer zone off its east and west coasts on Tuesday.
Pyongyang earlier in the day said Tuesday’s attack was also in response to the “enemy’s war drills against the North” along the border “as a powerful military countermeasure”.
North Korea also fired artillery shells into the military buffer zone last week.


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