South Korea warns North to “defend” the inter-Korean peninsula

North fires more shells toward inter-Korean sea buffer zone

North Korea fires at least three shells toward the island of Yeonpyeong, which acts as the inter-Korean “red line” when it comes to the Korean Peninsula. Yonhap News Agency

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s military warned South Korea on Monday to “defend” the inter-Korean peninsula, days after firing at least three shells toward a South Korean island that the North says is a “red line” to contain its military provocations.

The barrage of shots from the northeastern side of Yeonpyeong, also known as Ulleung Island, was apparently the third from the North this month. It came a day after the North fired two shells toward Yeonpyeong, and the two previous shots came in February.

A South Korean defense ministry official said the military was responding with artillery fire.

“We warn the North to immediately halt the provocations at the inter-Korean red lines and send the South a clear message that this will not be tolerated,” said an official on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media.

The South Korean official said the inter-Korean boundary is the demilitarized zone that runs through the divided Korean Peninsula.

“This is an international boundary, not an inter-Korean one.”

The official said that under the U.N. Security Council resolution 1874, “the international boundary on the sea line of demarcation must be treated as the international boundary of the Republic of Korea and the North Korean territory.”

After the last two incidents, South Korea dispatched an aircraft carrier and two nuclear submarines to its east coast in an apparent show of strength in response to the North’s provocations.

There have been a spate in recent days of North and South Korean military activity in the border area, suggesting tensions are rising anew as the North and South remain technically at war over the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended

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