Gunfire as Kim Jong Un’s Troops Cross the Korean Border

Kim Hong-ji/Reuters
Kim Hong-ji/Reuters

South Korea’s military fired warning shots when a group of around 20 North Korean soldiers crossed the nations’ land border over the weekend, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday.

The northern troops crossed the military demarcation line inside the DMZ separating the two countries at around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to a JCS spokesman. The breach took place amid heightened tensions between the two countries over the waves of balloons carrying trash and excrement which Kim Jong Un’s regime has floated southwards over the border.

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JCS spokesperson Colonel Lee Sung-jun said Seoul did not consider the incursion to be intentional because the soldiers immediately headed north after the warning shots. He also said the current dense foliage inside the DMZ can make the demarcation line difficult to see, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

The agency also reported that an unnamed JCS official said the North Korean troops were carrying pickaxes and other tools and may have inadvertently “lost their way” inside the DMZ.

It comes after South Korea resumed loudspeaker broadcasts of anti-Pyongyang propaganda along the border for the first time in years. Seoul resurrected the practice as part of its retaliation to the more than 1,000 trash balloons floated into the South in recent weeks.

North Korea says it started sending the balloons in response to the activists in the South who have themselves used balloons to send propaganda leaflets denouncing Kim’s rule into his tightly controlled country.

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