South Korean troops fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers briefly crossed land border

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean soldiers fired warning shots after North Korean troops violated the land border earlier this week, South Korea’s military said Tuesday, amid soaring animosities between the rivals over the North's recent trash-carrying balloon launches.

Some North Korean soldiers who were engaged in unspecified work on the northern side of the border briefly crossed the military demarcation line on Sunday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Those North Korean soldiers immediately returned to their territory after South Korea’s military fired warning shots and issued warning broadcasts, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. It said North Korea had not conducted any other suspicious activities.

South Korea's military has assessed that the North Korean soldiers didn’t appear to have intentionally crossed the border because the site is a wooded area and MDL signs there weren’t clearly visible, Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesperson Lee Sung Joon told reporters.

The Koreas’ mine-strewn land border is the world’s most heavily armed border, with hundreds of thousands of combat troops facing each other. It’s a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

On Sunday, South Korea resumed anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts from its border loudspeakers in response to the North's recent launches of balloons carrying manure and rubbish across the border. South Korea said North Korea has installed its own border loudspeakers in response but hasn't turned them on yet.