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North, South Korea Exchange Gunfire at Border in Latest Clash

  • Reuters

North and South Korea exchanged gunfire on Sunday when the North's soldiers approached the military border and did not retreat after the South fired warning shots, the South Korean Defense Ministry said.

The North's soldiers fired back in an exchange of gunfire that lasted about 10 minutes but the situation did not escalate, a ministry official said.

"There were no casualties or property damage," the official said.

The incident was the latest in a series of confrontations in recent weeks between the rival Koreas, that remain technically at war, and follows an urgent meeting between senior military officials on Wednesday to discuss how to ease tensions.

The North's soldiers on Saturday approached the so-called Military Demarcation Line that separates the countries but retreated after the South fired warning shots, the official added.

Earlier this month, the two sides exchanged fire after a North Korean patrol boat crossed a sea border that the North has long disputed in an area where naval clashes have in the past killed scores of sailors on both sides. They also traded machine gun fire after southern activists released anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the border by balloon on October 10.

The two Koreas are expected to hold a high-level meeting soon and the recent actions by the heavily militarized North are seen by experts as posturing to seek advantage in often intricate dealings with the wealthy South.