Troops from the rival Koreas exchanged gunfire Sunday along their heavily fortified border in the second such shooting in less than 10 days, South Korean officials said. There were no reports of injuries or property damage, but the 10 minutes of shooting highlighted rising tensions between the divided countries. The Koreas’ first exchange of gunfire came after North Korea opened fire at balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets that were floating across the border from the South.
South Korea said on Monday it had warned North Korea of a “strong” response if it provoked an incident similar to one last week that sparked an exchange of machinegun fire across their border. The warning came as South Korean President Park Geun-hye reiterated on Monday her commitment to engage with the North, despite what she called “the dual nature” of ties, saying the “door was always open to dialogue”. South Korea said the North Korean firing was a “provocative act” that had violated the truce suspending their 1950-53 war and the complaint was reiterated in a notice the South sent the North late on Sunday.
The mystery of Kim Jong Un’s whereabouts deepened Friday after the North Korean leader appeared to have missed a ceremony to pay tribute to his late father and grandfather on what is an important national anniversary. Kim’s name was absent from the list of attendees at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on the 69th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of North Korea, issued by state news agency KCNA on Friday. The Workers’ Party, founded in 1945, is North Korea’s political party and is considered one of the country’s most crucial institutions alongside the military.