North and South Korea exchanged gunfire around the South’s guard post early on Sunday, raising tension a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended an almost three-week absence from public life with state media showing him visiting a factory.
Multiple gunshots were fired from North Korea at 7:41 a.m. local time towards a guard post in South Korea that borders the North, the South’s joint chiefs of staffs said in a statement.
South Korea responded by firing two shots towards North Korea, no injuries were reported.
The exchange of gunshots was the latest confrontation between the rival Koreas that technically remain at war.
Choi Kang, vice president of the Asian Institute for Policy Studies, says the timing of the ‘grey area’ provocation shows Kim is still in charge of the North Korean military.
Ewha University international affairs professor Leif-Eric Easley in Seoul said the shooting incident could be aimed at boosting morale in the North Korean military.