North Korea Fires 130 Artillery Shells Off East-West Coast

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Seoul – North Korea fired about 130 artillery shells into the sea off its east and west coasts on Monday (December 5), South Korea’s military said. The shooting is said to have taken place during a recent military exercise near their common border.

Some of the shells landed in a buffer zone near the maritime border in what Seoul says is a violation of the 2018 inter-Korean agreement, designed to reduce tensions.

“The South Korean military sent several warning communications to North Korea over the shelling,” the defense ministry said in a statement as quoted by Channel News Asia, Wednesday (5/12/2022).

North Korea has so far not reported the artillery fire, but has carried out an increasing number of military activities, including missile launches and drills by warplanes and artillery units.

South Korea and the United States have also stepped up military drills this year, saying they are necessary to deter a nuclear-armed North Korea.

The 2018 Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA) was the most substantive agreement to result from months of meetings between leader Kim Jong-Un and then South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

However, with talks long stalled, recent drills and displays of force along the fortified border between the two Koreas have cast doubts about the future of such action. South Korea accuses North Korea of repeatedly violating the agreement with this year’s artillery drills.

This year, North Korea tested long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) again for the first time since 2017, and South Korea and the United States said they were making preparations to resume nuclear tests as well.