South Korea fires warning shots at suspected North’s drone
South Korea says it has fired warning shots at a suspected North Korean drone that Seoul says crossed the tense border between the two neighbors.
The unidentified aerial vehicle was flying on Wednesday close to a South Korean military observation post at Mount Dora, some 47 kilometers (29 miles) north of the capital, Seoul, a Defense Ministry spokesman said, adding that it immediately returned to the northern side of the border after the warning shots by the South.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said soldiers fired some 20 machine gun rounds at the aerial vehicle.
The incident comes amid strained relations between the two Koreas following Pyongyang’s declared hydrogen bomb test.
On January 6, North Korea said it had successfully conducted its first hydrogen bomb test. The country also vowed to continue developing its nuclear program as a means of “deterrence” against potential acts of aggression from the United States.
While the US and its allies have cast doubt on the North’s testing allegation, they have pledged to launch a “united and strong” response, and the UN Security Council has threatened North Korea with new sanctions.
Pyongyang is already under UN sanctions over launching missiles considered by Washington and Seoul as ballistic and capable of delivering nuclear warheads.
The recent test also prompted South Korea to resume its propaganda broadcasts along the border with the North.
Also on Wednesday, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye called on North Korea’s main ally, China, to help punish Pyongyang for the test with the strongest possible international sanctions.
Describing North Korea’s nuclear test last week as a gross provocation and an “unacceptable challenge” to global peace and security, Park said the time has come to adopt a harsher line with Pyongyang.
“The international community’s countermeasures against North Korea’s last nuclear test must differ from the past,” Park told an annual press conference, adding that China would be critical in securing an effective Security Council resolution.