DPRK taking 'countermeasures' in response to ROK 'provocation'

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) military on Saturday released a statement saying its frontline units conducted artillery firing on Friday to send a clear warning after "repeated provocation by the enemies in the front areas." 

The statement issued by an unnamed spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army (KPA) came a day after the Republic of Korea (ROK) reported the DPRK fired a short-range ballistic missile into the sea and hundreds of artillery shells off its east and west coasts.

The ROK's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) on Friday claimed the DPRK's shells fell into eastern and western buffer zones north of the "Northern Limit Line," adding the ROK's military "is tracking and monitoring related movements in close cooperation with the United States, and reinforcing a readiness posture to prepare against possible contingencies."

The JCS added the DPRK's move violated the September 19 military agreement and called on the DPRK to stop provocations. Under the September 19 military agreement, the two sides agreed to stop all hostile acts near the inter-Korean border and set up buffer zones on the ground, in the waters and the air.

Describing its move as part of countermeasures, the KPA said its units in the eastern and western sectors of the front conducted warning fires of multiple rocket launchers into the East Sea and West Sea of Korea between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday "to cope with the acquired movement of the enemy." 

"In the future, too, our army will never allow any provocation by the enemies escalating the military tension on the Korean Peninsula but take thorough and overwhelming military countermeasures," the KPA's statement warned.

The DPRK also urged the ROK to "stop at once its reckless provocation inciting the military tension in the front areas."

(Cover: A news broadcast showing file footage of a DPRK missile test, at a railway station in Seoul, ROK, October 14, 2022. /CFP)

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