South Korea on Thursday urged North Korea to honor the 2018 inter-Korean agreement on reducing the military tension in the region.
The Unification Ministry said North Korea’s latest firing of artillery shells into maritime “buffer zones” is a violation of the said agreement.
“When it comes to the 2018 accord, the government believes that inter-Korean agreements should be mutually respected and implemented,” Yonhap News Agency quoted an unnamed official of the ministry as telling reporters in Seoul.
“The North’s move seems to have been aimed at protesting joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, pressing for a halt to the drills, and gauging the South’s stance on the 2018 inter-Korean deal,” said the official.
On Tuesday night, North Korea again fired artillery rounds into maritime “buffer zones” and warned South Korea to immediately stop its ongoing military drills.
In a statement, Pyongyang called the ongoing South Korean annual military exercises that started on Monday “enemy’s war drill against the north” and said they send a serious warning once again.
Last week, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) into the East Sea and fired 170 artillery shots into maritime “buffer zones.”
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called the move violation of the 2018 agreement. He was referring to a 2018 agreement between the two countries, which created buffer zones along land and sea boundaries and no-fly zones above the border.
Tension on Korean Peninsula further grew after recent military drills by South Korea and the US and North Korean missile tests.
On Sunday, the South Korean presidency warned that North Korea is expected to carry out its seventh nuclear test at any time.
Earlier, on Friday, North Korea fired another short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) into the East Sea, two days after firing two long-range strategic cruise missiles, involving units operating “tactical nukes.”
On Oct. 4, the US and South Korean forces held live-fire joint drills after North Korea fired a missile over Japan for the first time in five years.
Tensions in the region began in 2020 when North Korea attacked and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office along the border. Seoul has threatened a strong response if Pyongyang “further worsens the situation.”