N. Korea fires on South during North's military drills; South r - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

N. Korea fires on South during North's military drills; South responds

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(CNN) -- A day after raising the possibility of further nuclear tests, North Korea has engaged in provocative live-fire exercises near the South Korean maritime border, leading to an exchange of fire between the two neighbors.

Semi-official South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Monday that the North had begun the drill just after noon (local time). The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirmed that some North Korean ordnance landed in South Korean waters, and that the South responded with fire.

The JCS confirmed that the North Korean offshore military exercise began around 12:15 pm (local time) Monday, and said that "a part of North Korea's shelling reached South Korean side of the NLL (Northern Limit Line) and we (South Korea) responded with K-9 self-propelled guns into the North Korean waters above NLL."

 

The statement is in line with Yonhap's report that the North fired "several" artillery shells, to which South Korean military responded with self-propelled artillery fire. The South Korean K-9 howitzers have a 24-mile (40-kilometer) range.

It is not clear how many of the shells fired by North Korea reached the Republic's territorial waters. Although there was a lull, North Korean offshore firing seems to have resumed, with Yonhap quoting a resident of Baekryong Island, which is in close proximity to the NLL.

"Some (North Korean) artillery fire landed in (the) southern part of Northern Limit Line -- but in the water," a South Korean Ministry of Defense spokesperson told CNN. "We counter-fired over the Northern Limit Line".

When asked what South Korea fired back at, the MOD spokesman said "We are not shooting at North Korea, just shooting into the sea."

The spokesman declined to answer where South Korea is firing from and if the exchange is still ongoing. The official also refused to confirm if civilians are being evacuated or put into shelters on the front line islands.

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