(LEAD) N. Korea fires artillery shells into inter-Korean buffer zone: JCS
(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks from a state department spokesperson in paras 5-7, 10; RECASTS lead; CHANGES dateline; ADDS photos)
By Byun Duk-kun
SEOUL/WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired artillery rounds into a buffer zone with South Korea that is designed to reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Wednesday.
The North fired some 100 artillery rounds into the Yellow Sea from around 10 p.m. Tuesday and another 150 rounds into the East Sea from 11 p.m., according to the JCS.
The artillery shells fell into eastern and western buffer zones north of the Northern Limit Line, which were established under a 2018 inter-Korean agreement on reducing military tension.
"Firing artillery shells into the eastern and western buffer zones is a clear violation of the September 19 military agreement, and we strongly urge North Korea to immediately halt its actions as North Korea's continued provocations are actions that undermine peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the international community," it said in a released statement.
A state department spokesperson condemned the North's latest provocation.
"So again, we are seeing this happening over the course of this week. We are aware of these reports, and we call on the DPRK to cease all provocative and threatening actions," Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesperson for the department, said in a daily press briefing.
DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.
The latest incident came four days after North Korea fired hundreds of artillery shells into the military buffer zones on Friday.
Pyongyang also staged eight rounds of ballistic missile tests since late last month.
Patel called on Pyongyang to engage in dialogue, saying, "We continue to believe and be open to dialogue without preconditions with the DPRK as it relates to our ultimate goal here, which is the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
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