South Korean Soldiers Fire Warning Shots at North Korean Troops in DMZ

South Korean soldiers fired warning shots after North Korean troops mistakenly crossed the border, Seoul’s military reported on Tuesday.

The incident occurred in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Sunday amid escalating tensions between the two Koreas. According to South Korea’s military, a small group of North Korean soldiers carrying field tools, including pickaxes, entered South Korea at 12:30 local time (05:30 GMT). The group was part of 20 soldiers present in the border area at the time. The North Korean troops retreated immediately after the South Koreans fired the warning shots.

In recent weeks, North Korea has launched hundreds of rubbish-filled balloons into South Korean border towns. In response, Seoul has been broadcasting propaganda and K-pop music into the North using loudspeakers. Activists have also sent propaganda balloons into North Korea.

After the North Korean troops retreated on Sunday, there was no significant movement from the North in the DMZ, according to Seoul’s military. They explained that the border area’s overgrown vegetation hides border markers, creating difficult terrain for navigation.

On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, threatened South Korea with “new counteractions” if it continues the loudspeaker broadcasts and does not stop activists from sending balloons.

Last December, Mr. Kim ended efforts toward peaceful unification with the South, accusing Seoul of hostility. Since then, North Korea has demolished a symbolic unification monument in Pyongyang and severed all communication with the South.

Earlier this month, South Korea suspended the remaining parts of its 2018 military agreement with the North, allowing it to resume drills and propaganda activities like loudspeaker broadcasts. South Korea had partially suspended the agreement last November after the North’s launch of a spy satellite.

Recently, Seoul has observed North Korean soldiers planting landmines along the border, disconnecting railways to the South, and installing guard posts within the DMZ.

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