South Korea on Wednesday criticized the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for firing artillery into waters off its east and west coasts, targeting a maritime “buffer zone” set up in 2018 to reduce tensions.
Pyongyang has dramatically ramped up missile launches and military exercises in recent weeks, as Seoul and Washington claim DPRK leader Kim Jong Un is close to conducting what would be his country’s seventh nuclear test.
Roughly 250 rounds were launched late Tuesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) claimed, calling it a “clear violation” of the 2018 agreement.
“We strongly urge North Korea to immediately halt its actions,” the JCS said in a statement.
“North Korea’s continued provocations are actions that undermine peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the international community,” it added.
Pyongyang on Wednesday said the barrage was intended to counter the “enemy’s war drill against the North” along the border.
South Korea’s military “fired dozens of shells of multiple rocket launchers in the forefront area… from 9:55 to 17:22 on Oct. 18,” a spokesperson for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army clarified in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
“KPA units on the east and west fronts conducted a threatening, warning fire toward the east and west seas on the night of Oct. 18, as a powerful military countermeasure,” the spokesperson indicated.
DPRK also fired artillery rounds into the military buffer zones last week.
A couple of days ago, South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said, as reported by the South Korean Kyodo news agency, that the DPRK launched around 170 artillery projectiles toward the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea on Friday.
The DPRK launched 130 artillery projectiles into the Yellow Sea and 40 more into the Sea of Japan around dawn on Friday, according to the report. The shells struck outside the exclusive economic zone of South Korea.
South Korean President Yoo Suk-yeol criticized the DPRK’s missile launches, considering them a violation of the 2018 Comprehensive Military Agreement which defined a maritime buffer zone between Seoul and Pyongyang in order to decrease military tensions.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)