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Monday, July 15, 2024

South Korea Fires Warning Shots as North Korean Soldiers Cross Border

South Korean military fired warning shots as North Korean soldiers briefly crossed the border, coinciding with heightened tensions and ahead of Russian President Putin's historic visit to North Korea.

South Korean military fired warning shots on Tuesday to push back North Korean soldiers who “briefly” crossed the border for the second time in less than two weeks, Seoul claimed.

North Korean soldiers crossed the military demarcation line within the demilitarized zone again on Tuesday after the South Korean military fired warning shots, Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a Joint Chiefs of Staff statement.

Approximately 20 to 30 North Korean soldiers carrying work tools crossed the borderline, which the South Korean military says was “by accident.”

The latest incident occurred several hours before the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin to North Korea for a two-day visit. He is the first Russian leader to visit North Korea in 24 years.

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On June 9, South Korea claimed that North Korean soldiers had briefly crossed the demilitarized zone, prompting its troops to fire warning shots.

The cross-border activity by North Korean soldiers also occurred at a time when tensions between the divided Koreas are high due to reciprocal propaganda activities.

Pyongyang has sent trash balloons into the South, while Seoul has used loudspeakers and distributed anti-regime pamphlets along the border.

Koreas have been divided since the Korean War of the 1950s, which ended in an armistice rather than a cease-fire.

Along the border, the two Koreas are separated by a demilitarized zone.