South Korea fires warning shots after new border incursion

June 22, 2024
A South Korean soldier stands guard near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju on June 11, 2024 — AFP

SEOUL: Seoul´s military said on Friday it had fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers briefly crossed the heavily fortified border in the third such incursion this month.


The nuclear-armed North has been reinforcing the border in recent months, adding tactical roads and laying more landmines, which has led to “casualties” among its troops due to accidental explosions, South Korea has said.

On Thursday morning, “several North Korean soldiers who were working inside the DMZ on the central front line crossed the Military Demarcation Line,” Seoul´s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

“After our military´s warning broadcasts and warning shots, the North Korean soldiers retreated back northward,” they added.

Similar incidents took place on June 9 and Tuesday this week, with Seoul´s military saying both incursions appeared to be accidental.

Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in years, with Kim Jong Un hosting Russian leader Vladimir Putin this week, and signing a mutual defence agreement that has raised hackles in Seoul. In response, the South -- a major weapons exporter -- has said it will “reconsider” a longstanding policy that has prevented it from supplying arms directly to Ukraine.