North Korea Once Again Fires Artillery Rounds Over South Korea's Drills
North Korea once again fires artillery rounds over South Korean drills for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, in a tit-for-tat response to the South's live-fire drills in an inland border region.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea reported around 10 a.m. that North Korea fired around 90 artillery rounds from a front-line area along its eastern coast. The shells, which were likely launched by multiple rocket launchers, landed on the northern side of a maritime buffer zone established by the Koreas in 2018 to reduce border tensions.
The firings occurred shortly after the North Korean People's Army's General Staff stated that it had instructed front-line units to launch artillery into the sea as a warning in response to South Korean artillery exercises near their land border.
North Korea Once Again Fires Artillery Rounds
North Korea fires artillery rounds - New war between North Korea and South Korea?
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/north-korea-once-again-fires-artillery-rounds/ by Paula M. Graham on 2022-12-07T08:04:36.233Z
South Korean assessments differed slightly from North Korean military claims that it fired 82 shells from multiple rocket launchers.
According to an unidentified North Korean People's Army General Staff spokesperson, the firings were intended as a warning against "enemy side" artillery exercises in a region near the inter-Korean land border.
The spokesperson claimed that South Korea was hypocritical in criticizing North Korea for violating the 2018 agreement and that the South's unspecified past violations of the agreement must be "calculated first."
North Korea also fired around 130 artillery rounds into waters inside South Korea's maritime buffer zones on Monday, accusing the South of inducing unnecessary tension in front-line areas.
The latest North Korean military action has heightened tensions between the rivals, whose relations have deteriorated significantly as a result of a prolonged pause in nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
Earlier this week, the South Korean army issued a public notice about live-fire exercises involving multiple rocket launch systems and howitzers in two separate testing grounds in the Cheorwon region.
According to the ministry, the exercises do not violate the 2018 inter-Korean military agreement because they take place outside the ground buffer zone set within 5 kilometers of the military demarcation line separating the Koreas.
North Korea Hopes To Negotiate Economic Concessions
This year, North Korea has conducted dozens of missile tests, including multiple tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile system capable of reaching deep into the United States' mainland and an intermediate-range missile over Japan.
According to experts, North Korea hopes to negotiate economic and security concessions from a position of strength, forcing the US to accept it as a nuclear power. South Korean officials have suggested that North Korea may conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.
The inter-Korean military agreement is one of the few tangible outcomes of the countries' 2018 diplomacy. Former South Korean President Moon Jae-In met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un three times that year, as well as assisting in the preparations for Kim's first meeting with former US President Donald Trump.
The inter-Korean military agreement is one of the few tangible outcomes of the countries' 2018 diplomacy. Former South Korean President Moon Jae-in met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un three times that year, as well as assisting in the preparations for Kim's first meeting with former US President Donald Trump.
However, inter-Korean relations deteriorated sharply following the failure of the second Kim-Trump meeting in February 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korean demands for a significant relaxation of US-led sanctions in exchange for the North's partial surrender of nuclear capabilities.