North, South Korea trade machine gun fire along land border


Seoul military officials say North and South Korea have exchanged fire across their land border after the North shot balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets floated from the South.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said shots could be heard from north of the border at around 3:55 p.m. local time (0655 GMT) on Friday, about two hours after balloons containing 200,000 leaflets were flown from the South Korean village of Paju condemning North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Friday that several North Korean machine gun bullets fell south of the border, prompting the South’s military to fire 40 rounds from machine guns.

North Korea then opened fire with rifles, which South Korean soldiers responded to in kind.

There was no immediate information on whether there were any casualties.

The South Korean Defense Ministry convened an emergency meeting after the shooting.

South Korean activists regularly launch anti-North Korean leaflets in balloons across the border, which Pyongyang sees as a provocation.

The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of escalating military rhetoric since the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953. No peace deal has been signed since then, meaning that North and South Korea remain technically at war.

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