South Korea: North Korea Fires Artillery Shells Near Sea Boundary for Third Straight Day
On Sunday, South Korea’s military reported that North Korea had fired more than 90 rounds of artillery shells near the tense sea boundary between the two countries. This comes after North Korea’s consecutive artillery firings on Friday and Saturday. South Korea has strongly urged North Korea to halt these provocative acts.
In response to South Korea’s claims, Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, mocked South Korea’s ability to detect weapons launches and denied the allegations. South Korea’s military dismissed her statement as a “low-level psychological warfare” and warned of a stern response to any provocations by North Korea.
The tension between the two countries has escalated in recent years, with North Korea conducting a barrage of missile tests while South Korea has expanded its military training with the United States. North Korea’s artillery firings on Friday prompted South Korea to carry out its own firing exercises, further adding to the animosities between the two nations.
Experts believe that North Korea is likely to ramp up weapons tests and escalate its fiery rhetoric against its rivals ahead of South Korea’s parliamentary elections in April and the U.S. presidential elections in November. North Korea’s recent actions have put the 2018 military agreement between the two countries, aimed at easing front-line military tensions, in danger of collapsing.
In a statement on Sunday, Kim Yo Jong called South Korea’s military “gangsters” and “clowns in military uniforms,” further heightening the tensions. The situation remains volatile, and South Korea has vowed to respond overwhelmingly to any further provocations by North Korea.