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South Korea’s Military Fired Warning Shots After North Korean Soldiers Crossed The Border Again On Thursday

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South Korea’s military fired warning shots after several North Korean soldiers crossed the border on Thursday morning. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the North Korean soldiers retreated after the warning shots were fired.

The North Korean soldiers had breached the Military Demarcation Line running through the middle of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). This was around 11 a.m. on Thursday. This is at least the third such incident this month.

South Korea’s military fired warning shots on Tuesday after dozens of North Korean soldiers breached the demarcation line.

Clashes have occurred over decades since fighting between the countries stopped at the end of the Korean War. But the recent incidents mark a rare uptick in activity close to the demarcation line.

The incident came after Russian President Putin visited Pyongyang. This was the first visit in 24 years.

Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of the North’s leader, issued a statement denouncing South Korean activists. Late on Thursday the activists flew balloons carrying leaflets toward the North.

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The launching of the balloons has been a source of rising tension between the two Koreas. North Korea flew its own balloons carrying trash to the South.

Seoul retaliated by resuming border loudspeaker broadcasts. North Korean defector Park Sang-hak said his group, Fighters For Free North Korea had launched 10 balloons from the border town of  Pocheon. The balloons had 200,000 flyers, 5,000 USB sticks containing K-pop videos and dramas, and 2,000 $1 notes.

Kim did not say how the North might respond.

South Korea’s residents living near the border have demanded that such activities be halted over safety concerns.

With inputs from Reuters