North Korea ordered frontline units to fire artillery into the sea for a second consecutive day in response to U.S.-South Korean live-fire exercises, its military said Tuesday. Photo by Yonhap
SEOUL, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- North Korea's military said Tuesday it ordered troops to fire artillery rounds into the sea for a second consecutive day as a "tit-for-tat" response to South Korea-U.S. live-fire exercises.
In a statement attributed to a spokesman for the Korean People's Army, frontline units were instructed to "keep the enemy under observation and get fully ready for counterattack."
Units near the sea borders east and west of the peninsula were ordered to fire live shells as a "tit-for-tat warning."
The North Korean military said that it was responding to "dozens of projectiles" fired by "multiple rocket launchers" Monday in the South Korean border area of Cheorwon.
South Korean and U.S. troops are holding live-fire exercises in Cheorwon this week, according to an announcement on the county's website.
"The KPA General Staff makes it clear once again that it will settle accounts with all provocative actions of the enemy one by one and will always counter them with staunch and overwhelming military action," the North's statement, carried by state-run Korean Central News Agency, said.
"The enemy side would be well advised to immediately stop their military action of escalating tension in the immediate vicinity of the front where it is within eyeshot," it added.
Pyongyang's response comes a day after it fired 130 artillery shells into buffer zones north of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime boundary separating the two countries.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that the artillery fire violated a 2018 joint military agreement meant to reduce border tensions.
The North has fired weapons into the buffer zones on several occasions in recent months, moves it characterizes as a reaction to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises. The two Koreas exchanged warning fire in October after Seoul accused a North Korean vessel of intruding into its territorial waters in the Yellow Sea.
Last week, South Korea joined the United States and Japan in imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang in response to its record number of missile launches this year.