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North Korea fires 250 artillery shells into neutral buffer zone with South Korea

Kim Jong Un overseeing North Korea's new tactical guided weapon system test in April 2022. (Korean Central News Agency/Released)
October 18, 2022

North Korean forces fired around 250 artillery shells on Tuesday into maritime buffer areas on the east and west sides of the Korean Peninsula that separate North and South Korea.

In a statement provided to Reuters, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korean artillery forces fired 100 shells into the sea off its west coast at around 10 p.m. local time and another 150 rounds off its east coast around the same time.

These North Korean artillery barrages come after the Associated Press reported North Korean forces fired ballistic missiles and artillery into their eastern waters on Friday. North Korea has conducted several different ballistic missile tests already this month.

This new round of North Korean artillery fire also comes a day after South Korean forces started their annual Hoguk military drills. The South Korean military drills are meant to improve their ability to respond to North Korean nuclear attacks and missile threats.

Last month, as Vice President Kamala Harris visited the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which separates North and South Korea, North Korean forces launched two ballistic missiles into the sea.

Earlier this month, North Korea also lobbed another ballistic missile that sailed over Japan, setting off alarms throughout the country. That missile test was perhaps the most brazen show of force since North Korean forces last shot a missile over Japan in 2017.

Last week, North Korea fired more ballistic missiles shortly after several of its warplanes buzzed the DMZ.

The Biden administration has condemned the recent trend of North Korean weapons tests and vowed new sanctions against any nations that may be helping North Korea advance its nuclear weapons programs.

“We will continue to hold responsible those who are overseeing the DPRK’s WMD and nuclear weapons programs. Those who are in a position to support this program, who may be helping the DPRK systematically evade sanctions that have already been announced” Price said last Wednesday, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the formal name of the North Korean government. “This is something that we are doing with our own authorities, and just within recent days we have announced additional sanctions targeting the DPRK’s WMD and ballistic missile programs.”