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North Korea Holds Live-Fire Drills Near Border With South

For the second time in a month, Pyongyang has fired off rockets near its disputed border with South Korea.

North Korea Holds Live-Fire Drills Near Border With South
Wikimedia Commons / Edward N. Johnson

North Korea’s latest live-fire drill may have only lasted 15 minutes, but it was more than enough time for the South to place its military on high alert. 

For the second time in less than a month, Pyongyang has launched rockets onto its disputed western border with the South. This time, none of the reported 650 rounds of artillery are said to have landed in South Korean territory. (Via ITN

According to The Korea Herald, the drills came five hours after Pyongyang notified Seoul by fax it would be conducting the exercises.

South Korea had advised civilians that live or fish near the area to evacuate, and it dispatched warships and fighter jets in the event of a potential clash. (Via Arirang

North Korea held similar drills last month. Those ended with an exchange of artillery fire between the longtime rivals. (Via The New York Times

One of the most serious clashes in decades came in 2010 when the Hermit Kingdom shelled a South Korean island, killing four. (Via The Guardian)

Voice of America notes, while such drills aren’t unusual, they “typically further strain relations between the two long-time rivals, which are still technically at war.”

The North’s latest provocation comes at a time when tensions are already running high on the peninsula.

 

Last week, South Korean officials warned of increased activity detected at the North’s nuclear site — suggesting its neighbor was readying for its fourth nuclear test. (Via Euronews)

During his recent visit to Seoul, President Obama called on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program and said raised the possibility of further sanctions against the North. (Via The White House)

That prompted North Korea to issue a sexist tirade against South Korea’s President, calling her a "dirty comfort woman for the U.S. and despicable prostitute." (Via NPR)

Seoul condemned the personal attack, calling it "foul" and "immoral."