North Korea and South Korea have exchanged gunfire in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which divides the two Asian countries.
Gunshots fired by North Korea at 07:41 AM local time hit a South Korean guard post in the central border town of Cheorwon, Seoul’s military said.
No casualties were reported on the South Korean side.
In response, South Korea fired “two rounds of gunfire and a warning announcement according to our manual”, the military statement said.
It is not clear what provoked the initial gunshots. The joint chiefs of staff (JCS) said that they were trying to contact North Korea through their military hotline to determine the cause of the incident.
This is the first time in five years that North Korean troops have directly fired on South Korea. The last incident happened when a North Korean soldier made a dash across the military demarcation line to defect to South Korea.
The DMZ was set up after the Korean War in 1953 in order to create a buffer zone between the two countries.
For the past two years, the South Korean government has tried to turn the heavily fortified border into a peace zone.
Easing military tensions at the border was one of the agreements reached between the leaders of the two countries held a summit in Pyongyang in September 2018.