North Korea fires suspected artillery: Seoul

North Korea fires suspected artillery: Seoul


North Korea fired a series of artillery shots over the weekend, Seoul's military said.

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea fired a series of artillery shots over the weekend, Seoul s military said, days after leader Kim Jong Un vowed to use "power for power" to defend the country s sovereignty.

The South Korean military detected "several flight trajectories" that are understood to be shots from North Korean artillery, Seoul s Joint Chiefs of Staff said late Sunday.

The suspected shots were fired between 8:07 am (2307 GMT) to 11:03 am Sunday morning, the JCS said, stressing Seoul maintains a firm military readiness in collaboration with treaty ally United States.

Pyongyang s official Korean Central News Agency -- which typically reports on successful weapons tests 24 hours after the fact -- has not released information on Sunday s shots, nor on other recent missile launches.

The nuclear-armed North has carried out a blitz of sanctions-busting weapons tests this year, including firing an intercontinental ballistic missile at full range for the first time since 2017.

Seoul s presidential national security office held a meeting to discuss the artillery shots late Sunday, and reaffirmed the South s position of "responding calmly and sternly" to Pyongyang s provocations, the office said.

The presidential office added Seoul did not immediately release its findings on the suspected artillery fire on Sunday morning, as the shots were of a "traditional" type with relatively low altitude and short range.

The latest volley of fire follows warnings from both Seoul and Washington that Kim s regime is preparing to carry out what would be its seventh nuclear test -- a move that US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said would provoke a "swift and forceful" response.

Kim last week announced plans to enhance the country s military power during a major three-day political conference that wrapped up on Friday.

South Korean Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup said on Sunday Seoul would "strengthen" its defence capabilities, as well as its security cooperation with Washington and Tokyo, to counter the nuclear threat from Pyongyang.