South Korea says that North Korean forces 'launched the first shots' in an exchange of gunfire in a remote region. The flare-up comes just before a reunion of families divided by the Korean War.
South Korea's joint chiefs of staff charged North Korean forces with "launching the first shots" at a South Korean guard post just below the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that has divided the Korean peninsula since the end of the Korean War in July 1953.
A South Korean defense official said South Korean soldiers had fired three shots back across the DMZ "under the rules of engagement."
The shootout was the first such flare-up on land in two years, but North and South Korean warships clashed in the west or Yellow Sea on several occasions before the South Korean Cheonan warship was torpedoed in March.