World Bulletin / News Desk
North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells just "hundreds of meters" from the demilitarized zone that runs along its border with South Korea, the South's military announced Monday.
An official was quoted as telling Yonhap News Agency that "about 100 artillery shells" fell into the East Sea - having been fired shortly before noon from Kosong in the North's southeastern corner.
The shower of artillery shells came just a day after North Korea had held its sixth ballistic missile test of the year – despite being barred from employing ballistic technology by United Nations resolutions.
The two missiles early Sunday morning were also launched from close to the border before landing in the East Sea.
North Korea's leadership in Pyongyang appears to be growing bolder given the risk of causing a widespread conflict with provocations near the tense border with the South– the two sides are still technically at war even though an armistice brought the Korean War to an end in 1953.
As recently as Saturday, Pyongyang's state-run media announced plans by the country's military to "bolster up its cutting edge nuclear force."
The statement was an apparent response to the arrival of a 97,000-ton nuclear-powered United States aircraft carrier in the South Korean port of Busan the day before – ahead of this month’s joint military drills involving the U.S., South Korea and Japan.
Such exercises are routinely denounced by North Korea, which also regularly conducts its own drills – twice this year tensions have spilled over into shared artillery fire between the Koreas along their western sea border.
However, in a separate development, the South's unification ministry announced Monday that the Koreas will hold talks this Thursday at the border village of Panmunjom.
The meeting is scheduled to cover the logistics of the North's plan to send 150 athletes and coaches as well as a cheerleading squad to the Asian Games – to be hosted by the South Korean city of Incheon this September into October.Last Mod: 14 Temmuz 2014, 11:36