Kim orders drill fire at border site with Seoul


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Monday ordered a firing drill on the western frontier bordering South Korea, state media reported triggering criticism from Seoul.

During his inspection of a front-line military unit on Changrin island north of the western sea border with South Korea, Kim set the target for firing drills.

Kim identified target for “Gun 2 of the coastal artillery company on combat duty and gave an order to fire,” Pyongyang-based Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

The site of drill fire lies just north of the Northern Limit Line — a de facto maritime border with South Korea — which saw bloody naval skirmishes between the two Koreas in the past.

Triggering regret from South Korea, Seoul termed the firing drills as a “violation of a military agreement the two Koreas signed in September last year to avoid activities that increase tensions near the border,” Yonhap news agency reported.

“The artillery firing drills that North Korea mentioned is in violation of the Sept. 19 military agreement that the military authorities of the two countries agreed and have fully implemented,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo told a regular briefing in Seoul.

Kim asked his soldiers “to set up a well-knit system” to ensure “full readiness for carrying out a combat mission any moment”.

But Choi said: “We call on North Korea to immediately stop all military actions in border areas that are feared to heighten military tensions, and to fully comply with the pact”.
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