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NKorea Fires Artillery Again Near South12/06 06:11

   

   SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea on Tuesday fired a barrage of 
artillery rounds into waters near rival South Korea for the second consecutive 
day in a tit-for-tat for the South's live-fire drills in an inland border 
region.

   South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected North Korea firing 
around 90 artillery rounds from the eastern coastal town of Kosong around 10 
a.m. and another 10 rounds from the nearby town of Kumkang around 6 p.m.

   It said the shells, which were likely from multiple rocket launchers, landed 
in the northern side of a maritime buffer zone the Koreas established in 2018 
to reduce border tensions.

   The firings came shortly after the North Korean People's Army's General 
Staff said it instructed front-line units to launch artillery into the sea as a 
warning following South Korean artillery exercises in a region near their land 
border.

   North Korea also on Monday fired around 130 artillery rounds into waters 
near the buffer zones with South Korea, while accusing the South of raising 
unnecessary tension in front-line areas.

   The latest North Korean military action has worsened animosity between the 
rivals, whose relations have sharply declined amid a prolonged pause in nuclear 
negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

   The South Korean army was conducting live-fire exercises involving multiple 
rocket launch systems and howitzers in two separate testing grounds in the 
Cheorwon region. They began on Monday and continue through Wednesday.

   North Korea's military said it ordered Monday's artillery fire after 
detecting dozens of South Korean projectiles flying southeast from the Cheorwon 
region. That was the first time North Korea has fired weapons into the maritime 
buffer zones since Nov. 3, when around 80 shells landed within North Korea's 
side of the zone off its eastern coast.

   North Korea has fired dozens of missiles as it increased its weapons 
demonstrations to a record pace this year, including multiple tests of an 
intercontinental ballistic missile system with a potential of reaching deep 
into the U.S. mainland, and an intermediate-range missile over Japan.

   North Korea has also conducted a series of short-range launches it described 
as simulated nuclear attacks on South Korean and U.S. targets in an angry 
reaction to an expansion of joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises that 
North Korea views as rehearsals for a potential invasion.

   Experts say North Korea hopes to negotiate economic and security concessions 
from a position of strength and force the United States to accept it as a 
nuclear power. South Korean officials have said North Korea might up the ante 
soon by conducting its first nuclear test since 2017.

 
 
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