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Report: North Korea a no-show in U.N. investigation into shooting

Report: North Korea a no-show in U.N. investigation into shooting
The U.S.-led U.N. Command has begun investigating a shooting incident inside the Korean Demilitarized Zone. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

May 14 (UPI) -- The U.S.-led United Nations command is investigating a recent shooting incident inside the Korean Demilitarized Zone, but North Korea may have declined to cooperate with the probe, according to a South Korean press report.

Investigations began on May 4, involving Swedish and Swiss officials of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, in order to determine whether the North Korean military action violated the Armistice Agreement.

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A source affiliated with the U.N. Command told Newsis on Thursday there were no investigations into North Korean military authorities. On May 3, at least four bullets from the North hit the South's guard post in a central section of the DMZ, according to Yonhap.

Concerns are rising in the South the absence of North Korean cooperation will render the investigation incomplete. It remains unclear whether the North's military fired intentionally, or the bullets hit the South's side by accident.

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Seoul and Washington have downplayed the shooting, which yielded zero casualties on the South's side.

South Korean officials said immediately after the incident the bullets likely flew by mistake, citing intelligence.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC News earlier this month the shooting was "accidental."

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The South Koreans did say the incident violates the inter-Korea Comprehensive Military Agreement of September 2018 and requested the North to comply with rules.

Gunfire has not been exchanged at the border since 2017, when Pyongyang's troops fired at a fleeing North Korean soldier.

The defecting soldier, O Cheong-song, suffered injuries and underwent surgery in the South, where he was found to have parasitic worms.

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North Korea stopped taking part in Armistice-related meetings after 2013, when the regime scrapped all non-aggression pacts with the South.

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