North Korea fired several gunshots on Sunday morning at a South Korean guard post along the border, hitting it and prompting the South Korean Military to fire back warning shots. Investigations are underway by the South Korean officials as to why the shots were fired, while they also believe that a deliberate shooting by North Korea is unlikely.
According to officials in Seoul, at least 4 gunshots were fired by North Korea on May 3, at 7:41 a.m. hitting the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North Korea and South Korea. As part of the protocol, South Korea responded by firing 2 gunshots, indicating a ceasefire in the area.
DMZ between North and South Korea on a Ceasefire Violation
The South Korea officials have reported that no damage has been sustained by the personnel or DMZ facilities. Also, the South Korea Military officials have said that it is unlikely to be a deliberate provocation by the North, stating that conditions such as visibility were not suitable for a planned attack. The Military has not ruled out the possibility of a misfire, suggesting that the gun fires may have been due to inspections being conducted as the personnel shift duties.
North Korea Gun Fires day after Kim Jong Un appeared in Public
This shooting, however, is the first Trans border shooting incident in more than two years in the DMZ separating the two states. According to the Joint Sec Staff in South Korea, the gun fires are a total breach of the inter-Korean Comprehensive military agreement that these two states signed in 2018. This violation of the ceasefire on the buffered zone, whether accidental or deliberate, also attracts more interest because it comes a day after North Korean Leader ‘Kim Jong Un’ appeared for the public for the first time in 3 weeks ending the speculation about his health. ‘Kim Jong Un,’ who was not present for his grandfather’s ceremony about three weeks ago, was being speculated to be in a critical condition after surgery. The speculations were put to rest on May 1 when the North Korean Media broadcasted images of ‘Kim Jong Un’ in an inauguration in North Korea. Just within a day of his appearance on international media, a situation of gunfire in the DMZ is being called as symbolic by many.
The DMZ is a heavily fortified zone, with extraordinary fencing and land mines. Also, it’s an unmanned buffer zone between the two countries, and almost 2 million troops in both South and North Korea are faced against each other, with thousands of US troops included. Two hours after the exchange of gun fires, South Korea sent a statement through an inter-Korean Military communication line demanding explanation for the shooting, but North Korea has not yet responded.
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