North Korea News: Amid rising tensions, North Korea on Friday fired more than 200 artillery shells in the border region with South Korea, in response to a joint combat firing drill carried out by the US and South Korea involving heavy weapons. Kim Jong-un had earlier called the US actions “provocating for a nuclear war.”

North Korea News: Tensions Rise in the Korean Peninsula - MitKat Advisory - datasurfr.ai
Image Courtesy: KCNA via Reuters

The artillery shells landed in the buffer zone between the two countries, off the west coast, towards the South’s Yeonpyeong island. South Korea ordered civilians to seek shelter on the island before holding live fire drills of its own. Authorities on two nearby islands, Baengnyeong and Daecheong, also told civilians to seek shelter.

Yeonpyeong island, home to a military base and 2,000 civilians, lies 3km (2 miles) from the disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea and 12km from the North Korean coast. This has stirred some serious North Korea News. It has been the scene of inter-Korean naval clashes over the years.

North Korea’s artillery firing around the disputed sea boundary violated the fragile 2018 inter-Korean military agreement, according to the Associated Press.

The South called it a “provocative act”, but the North denied the islands were in danger from its firing drills. South Korea said the act “threatens peace on the Korean peninsula and raises tensions”. The North Korea news’ official agency KCNA said its firing drills were a “natural response” to large-scale military actions by its neighbour.

In 2010, North Korean artillery fired scores of times on Yeonpyeong island, killing two soldiers and two civilians.

South Korea’s Reaction and Other North Korea News

The latest incident comes months after the North fully suspended a military deal with the South that had been aimed at improving relations. The deal started to sour after Pyongyang claimed to have successfully launched a spy satellite into space in November. This led to South Korea partly suspending the agreement, saying it would resume surveillance flights along the border, reports BBC.

Afterwards, Pyongyang said it would withdraw all measures “taken to prevent military conflict in all spheres including ground, sea and air”, and deploy “more powerful armed forces and new-type military hardware” in the border region.

MitKat and datasurfr will continue to monitor geo-political and security events impacting businesses and supply chains. Our special platform helps organisations thrive by pre-empting and managing operational risks and enabling sustainable resilience. Read complete discussion on LinkedIn here.

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