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S. Korea mistakenly fires machine gun near border with N. Korea

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 29, 2023 - 11:12

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CHUNCHEON -- A South Korean soldier has mistakenly fired a machine gun during training near the border with North Korea, and the military has immediately informed North Korea that the shooting was not intentional, military officials said Sunday.

The South Korean military said four live rounds were fired from the machine gun during a training session by an Army unit along the inter-Korean border in the eastern province of Gangwon at 6:27 p.m. on Saturday.

All of the bullets landed in the southern side of the Military Demarcation Line and no damage was reported. No firings were planned for the training.

The military unit immediately informed North Korea via broadcasting on several occasions that the firings were not intentional and stepped up emergency readiness posture, the officials said.

"No particular signs have been seen from the North Korean side, and an investigation is under way over the exact circumstances of the incident," an official of the unit said.

In May 2020, at least four bullets from North Korea hit South Korea's guard post at the central part of the Demilitarized Zone, prompting the South Korean troops to fire back.

It was the first exchange of gunfire between South and North Korea in years. Under the Comprehensive Military Agreement signed in September 2018, the two Koreas agreed to halt all hostile acts against each other, a move aimed at reducing tensions and building trust.

The DMZ, which is about 250 kilometers long and 4 km wide, is one of the world's most heavily fortified borders and has often been a flashpoint between the rival Koreas. (Yonhap)