South Korea fires warning shots at North Korea after object crosses border

South Korea's military said yesterday an unidentified object that flew across the border from rival North Korea and prompted the South to respond with warning shots on Tuesday was probably a balloon carrying Pyongyang's propaganda leaflets.

"South Korean and US intelligence authorities believe North Korea has secured meaningful data in enhancing the credibility of its missile technology", said Roh Jae-cheon, a spokesperson for South Korea's Chiefs of Staff, adding that they will need to further verify whether the North has in fact developed functional re-entry technology. According to Yonhap News, South Korea's military also said that the missile would not be able to reach Guam, which serves as a refueling hub for USA military operations located in East Asia.

About 90 machine gun rounds were fired at the object, which has not been identified.

In 2014 South Korean officials claimed several North Korean drones had crossed the border.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the launch and watched from an observation post, state media reported Monday. He added that a USA trade deal with China, North Korea's closest ally, would "be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!"

The current status quo of worldwide sanctions, diplomatic isolation and military deterrence has failed to halt or even slow North Korea's nuclear advance, Litwak said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised a ballistic rocket launching drill of Hwasong artillery units of the Strategic Force of the Korean People' Army on the spot in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang, March 7, 2017.

The council met behind closed doors to discuss tightening sanctions on North Korea following the launch on Sunday of a medium-range missile that again raised alarm over Pyongyang's military capabilities. Liquid-fuel missiles require more time to prepare, in the open, before a launch.

On Tuesday Seoul's unification ministry said its priority is to solve North Korea's nuclear issue.

Tensions are high in the region over the nuclear-armed North's weapons ambitions.

The official Korean Central News Agency said the goal of the test was to verify technical indexes of the weapon system and examine its adaptability under battle conditions.

However, there are reports that suggest that North Korea is still capable of launching nuclear warheads that could cross the Pacific Ocean and reach the United States.

  • Leroy Wright