Por Soo-hyang Choi and Josh Smith
soulDecember 5 – North Korea fired about 130 artillery shells into the sea off its east and west coasts on Monday, the South Korean military said in the latest apparent military drills near their shared border.
Some shells fell in a buffer zone near the maritime border, in what Seoul said was a violation of a 2018 inter-Korean agreement to reduce tensions.
The South Korean military sent multiple communications warning the North about the shooting, the defense ministry said in a statement.
North Korea did not immediately report artillery fire, but has been carrying out an increasing number of military activities, including missile launches and drills by warplanes and artillery units.
South Korea and the United States have also stepped up military drills this year, saying they are necessary to deter the North, which has nuclear weapons.
The 2018 comprehensive military agreement was the most significant deal to emerge from months of meetings between leader Kim Jong-un and then-South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
However, with those talks long stalled, recent drills and shows of force along the fortified border between the Koreas have cast doubt on the future of the measures. South Korea has accused North Korea of repeatedly violating an agreement reached with artillery drills this year.
This year North Korea resumed testing its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMfor its short form in English) long range for the first time since 2017 and South Korea and the United States say it has prepared to resume nuclear testing.