Two Koreas exchange gunfire across border following Kim reappearance

Two Koreas exchange gunfire across border following Kim reappearance

Two Koreas exchange gunfire across border following Kim reappearance

South Korean military leaders said that North Korean forces fired several shots at a South Korean guard post.

South Korea's military said it is trying to understand the situation and prevent any further tension by using a military communication channel with the North but did not say whether the North had responded.

His absence triggered a series of unconfirmed reports over his condition, while the United States and South Korea insisted they had no information to believe any of the conjecture was true.

"I would think we are back to where we were", said Joseph Yun, who was a U.S. North Korea envoy under former President Barack Obama and at the start of the Trump administration.

The government-funded Yonhap News Agency reports that South Korean soldiers heard gunshots around 7:41 a.m. local time and found four bullet holes on a guard post located inside the Demilitarized Zone. "There was no loss of life on either side", he added.

US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un talk before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea.

After the emergence of these new photos and footage, US President Donald Trump said he was "glad" about the reappearance of Mr Kim. The Daily NK, a South Korean website, reported that Kim was recovering after undergoing a heart procedure.

The big picture: The exchange comes a day after North Korea broadcast a video of Kim Jong-un visiting a fertilizer factory in Suncheon.

After weeks of intense speculation about Kim's health and whereabouts, which included one report he had undergone cardiovascular surgery, North Korea's official media published photographs and a report on Saturday that Kim had attended the completion of a fertilizer plant.

The North Korean leader cut the ribbon at the opening of a fertiliser factory in Sunchon at a ceremony with other senior officials. State TV footage showed Kim's leg movements appearing stiff and jerky. The authenticity of the photos could not be verified.

Defense officials said it was also unlikely that North Korea had any casualties, since the warning shots were fired at uninhibited North Korean territory.

The DMZ, which is about 155 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, has often been a flashpoint in tensions between the rival nations, which remain technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

In a lengthy briefing held later on Sunday, an official at South Korea's JCS said the gunshots did not seem a planned provocation.

The two Koreas had previously exchanged fire within the heavily-fortified DMZ, including in 2014 when Kim was unseen in public for more than a month.

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