The Yonhap News Agency in South Korea reported today that artillery fire has been exchanged with neighboring North Korea following balloons launched by activists in the South condemning the reportedly sick North Korean Dictator, Kim Jong-Un.
Tensions are already high in the region and when the North Korean regime threatened “catastrophic” consequences for the balloons being released tensions grew even higher.
Today’s reported incident, as reported on the BBC website, is not the first time that North Korea has attacked South Korea in the recent past, even though a ground clash is rare. Back in March an exchange of fire occurred after a North Korean maritime drill strayed into South Korean waters.
The exchange of artillery comes after Pyongyang’s second most powerful man, Hwang Pyong-So, made a rare visit to Seoul on Saturday accompanied by other officials.
Reports regarding that visit noted that Hwang had asked to deliver a “heartfelt greeting” from Kim Jong-Un to the South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. The incident may also be related to the fact that Kim is thought to be seriously ill, as he recently missed a key anniversary for his Workers’ Party for the first time since taking power in 2011.
Due to the fact Kim has not been seen in public since early in September, many believe he is suffering from gout, while other reports suggest he may have been the subject of a military coup in North Korea.
The possible coup may have something to do with with the fact that, in the past, Kim has threatened nuclear war on South Korea and Japan and has even put his army on imminent combat in recent times. At that time Kim said, “we must greatly hurry preparations for battle, not forgetting that war is not the kind of thing that you advertise when you’ll do it.”