Warning shots fired in the demilitarised zone by South Korea

Warning shots fired by South Korea after two North Korean soldiers entered the demilitarised zone. Tensions are reaching an all time high after multiple incidents have occurred in the last few weeks.

Warning shots fired in the demilitarised zone by South Korea
Photo source: men in green and brown camouflage uniform, by Filip Andrejevic, via Unsplash, December 19, 2020.

12.06.2024

Benjamin Arenas Sanchez

Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

 

 

On Sunday, a group of North Korean soldiers mistakenly crossed the border with South Korea into the demilitarised zone between the two states. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirmed that their soldiers fired warning shots after this incursion, at around 12.30 pm local time.

 

This incident highlights the rise in the tensions between the North and the South in recent years. On May 28th, North Korea attempted to launch their second spy satellite since November, which South Korea labelled as a provocative act threatening the stability of the region. Furthermore, in the last weeks, North Korea has been sending balloons carrying trash into South Korean territory, to which the South Koreans responded by sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda by the same means. South Korea also suspended a military deal with North Korea from 2018 that aimed at reducing the tensions between the two Koreas, and reprised the broadcasting of propaganda along the border.

 

While the all-out armed conflict ended with an armistice in 1953, the two states technically remain at war. Despite attempts to reach peace in the last 70 years, including the Military Armistice Agreement of 1953 and its recognition through the 1991 Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-Aggression and Exchanges and Cooperation, the stability of the Korean peninsula has been rocky. The threat of a nuclear war has been constant since 2017, when North Korea threatened both South Korea and the United States with nuclear strikes and an annihilation war.

 

 

 

Sources and further readings:

[1] Al Jazeera, ‘S Korea Says It Fired Warning Shots after N Korean Soldiers Crossed Border’ (Al Jazeera, June 11th, 2024) <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/6/11/s-korea-says-it-fired-warning-shots-after-n-korean-soldiers-crossed-border> accessed June 12th, 2024.

 

[2] Le Monde, ‘Seoul Slams Failed North Korea Spy Satellite Launch’ (Le Monde.fr, May 28th, 2024) <https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2024/05/28/seoul-slams-failed-north-korea-spy-satellite-launch_6672860_4.html> accessed June 14th, 2024.

 

[3] Le Monde, ‘South Korea Fires Warning Shots after North Korea Soldiers Briefly Cross Border’ (Le Monde.fr, June 11th, 2024) <https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2024/06/11/south-korea-fires-warning-shots-after-north-korea-soldiers-briefly-cross-border_6674450_4.html> accessed June 13th, 2024.

 

[4] The Japan Times, ‘South Korea Fires Warning Shots after North Korea Soldiers Briefly Cross Border’ (The Japan Times, June 11th, 2024) <https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2024/06/11/asia-pacific/south-korea-warning-shots-border/> accessed June 13th, 2024.

 

[5] ‘70 Years after the Armistice, the Korean Peninsula Still Struggles for Peace’ (United States Institute of Peace, January 22nd, 2024) <https://www.usip.org/publications/2023/09/70-years-after-armistice-korean-peninsula-still-struggles-peace>  accessed June 14th, 2024.