SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean and North Korean troops exchanged gunfire in the demilitarized zone between the nations Sunday morning, and the two sides are now in talks via a military communication line.
North Korea fired at a South Korean military guard post several times around 7:41 a.m. local time, prompting it to shoot back twice and send out a verbal warning, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. No casualties or damage to equipment were reported in South Korea.
The clash occurred a day after North Korean state media reported leader Kim Jong Un’s first public appearance in almost three weeks. His absence had prompted global speculation about his health. While U.S. officials said they were told Kim was in critical condition after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure, a top South Korean foreign policy adviser later said he was “alive and well.”
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. Hundreds of thousands of troops on both sides of the border guard the DMZ that bisects the peninsula, a legacy of the 1950-53 war that ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
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