Geum Yi

Two Koreas exchange machine gun fire

October 10, 2014
This is the machine gun believed to be used by the North Koreans on Friday. (Yonhap)

This is the machine gun believed to be used by the North Koreans on Friday. (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — The two Koreas exchanged machine gun fire Friday, Seoul’s military said, after the North launched shots toward balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets floated by South Korean civic activists across the tense border. 

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said some of the North Korean shots landed south of the border, prompting the South’s military to fire back in response.

No further details were available, including whether there were any casualties on either side.

Seoul’s military officials corrected earlier reports that artillery had been used in the clash, saying that it’s wrong.

They said shots could be heard from north of the border at around 3:55 p.m., about two hours after a group of South Korean activists flew 200,000 anti-North Korean leaflets in balloons in a border village of Paju.

The officials added that shots apparently fired by anti-aircraft machine guns were discovered south of the border around 4:50 p.m. There were no reports of South Korean casualties, they said.

South Korea’s military fired back about 40 rounds from its K-6 machine gun 10 minutes after issuing an warning message at 5:30 p.m.

Friday was the 69th anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. Pyongyang had warned through its official Korean Central News Agency on Thursday that Seoul would face “uncontrollable catastrophe” unless the leaflet campaign is stopped.