North Korea has reportedly test-fired artillery shots from its multiple rocket launchers amid increasing military tensions in the peninsula.
According to the Yonhap news agency, the reclusive nation fired four shots that fell into the Yellow Sea. The shots were fired from an unidentified location in South Pyongan Province, the news agency added citing South Korean military officials.
However, other details of the test-firing, including the type of weapons launched and the range of the missiles, were immediately not clear.
Following the test-firing, South Korea’s Ministry of Unification spokesperson Lee Jong-joo was quoted by Yonhap as saying: “(We) once again urge North Korea to immediately stop unilateral actions that create tensions and go counter to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, and to choose the path of dialogue and cooperation that we and the international community have proposed.”
Notably, North Korea has increased missile testing this year, conducting a record number of firing in January.
This includes testing of Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile test, the first since 2017. The missile is said to be capable of hitting the US Pacific territory of Guam.
Recently, the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) increased its surveillance and reconnaissance collection in the Yellow Sea in response to the missile launches.
Last year, South Korea approved a programme to install a $2.6bn artillery interception system to protect its population from long-range rocket attacks.
Around half of the country’s population resides in the capital city of Seoul and surrounding regions, situating them within the range of neighbouring North Korea’s long-range guns, reported Reuters.