http://www.visiontimes.com/?p=83926

North and South Korea Clash Over Loudspeakers

A file photo of a battery of KM-101 105mm artillery from the South Korean Army 6th Division during a firing exercise. (Image: Wikipedia)
A file photo of a battery of KM-101 105mm artillery from the South Korean Army 6th Division during a firing exercise. (Image: Wikipedia)

The two Koreas exchanged rocket and artillery fire on a western part of the DMZ on Thursday in what is being described as the first major armed clash between the two countries since 2010.

Stalinist North Korea is reported to have initiated the incident by firing a rocket and then several artillery rounds at South Korean loudspeakers set up on the border in Yeoncheon County.

The North Koreans—by all accounts—were incensed by the speakers broadcasting anti-Pyongyang messages.

Watch a general summary on what happened below:

Reports say that the North Korean rocket and artillery shells failed to cause damage or inflict casualties, but it prompted a response from South Korea.

The South Korean military fired “dozens of rounds of 155mm shells” toward where they thought the rocket was launched from, the South’s defense ministry said in a statement, according to the BBC.

There have also been no reports of damage or causalities on the North Korean side of the border.

After the clash, a North Korean radio message threatened the South that if the loudspeakers weren’t  shut down within 48 hours, it would “embark upon military actions,” the South’s defense ministry said, according to The New York Times.

Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Dongguk University in Seoul, told the Times that it would be improbable for the North Koreans to escalate the exchange of fire into a major skirmish, given that large-scale joint U.S. and South Korea military exercises are currently underway.

North Korean soldiers at the joint security area on the DMZ. (Image: Wikipedia)

North Korean soldiers at the joint security area on the DMZ. (Image: Wikipedia)

The South Koreans set up the loudspeakers after two of their soldiers were badly injured by land mines earlier this month, which they say were planted by North Korea. The Kim Jong-un regime denies these claims.

Since then, both sides have been blasting propaganda broadcasts from loudspeakers, says the BBC, who added that the broadcasting of propaganda along the border had been earlier suspended way back in 2004.

Both sides remain technically at war. The costly 1950-1953 conflict that pitched the South and U.S.-led forces against the North, and communist China only stopped after the signing of an armistice. There was no peace treaty.

For some interesting history and facts about the Korean Demilitarized Zone, see the video below:

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