North Korea fired shells at South Korea's border unit on Thursday. North Korea shelled the South Korean military along the western border around 4 pm local time, Yonhap News Agency reported.
According to Reuters, the North Korean shelling targeted a loudspeaker on the border in South Korea and did not cause any apparent damage.
However, the incident prompted South Korea to fire "dozens of shells" in retaliation.
"Our side staged a counter-attack with dozens of 155mm shells," a South Korean defence ministry spokesman told AFP.
North Korea has now warned that it will launch military action against the South if the latter's loudspeaker campaign along the border continued.
- North Korea has given South Korea a 48-hour ultimatum to cease its propaganda campaign, threatening to begin military action if it fails.
"The North side threatened to start military action if the South does not stop its anti-Pyongyang psychological broadcasting and remove all the facilities in 48 hours from 5:00 p.m.," the South Korean defence ministry said, Yonhap reported.
- North Korea has now reportedly threatened that it will start military action against South Korea if it continues its 'loudspeaker propaganda'.
- South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye has asked the country's military to 'sternly deal' with the North following the shelling, Yonhap reported.
- At least 100 civilians have been evacuated from the western border region of South Korea so far.
- South Korea has convened an urgent meeting of the national security council. President Park Geun-Hye is presiding over the meeting.
- South Korea has put its army in 'top-notch readiness position', following the shelling.
- South Korea has now reportedly ordered evacuation of civilians from the western border that came under the North Korean shelling on Thursday.
This is said to be the first such armed clash between the neighbours in five years.
Both countries had launched a "loudspeaker propaganda warfare" along the border last week, broadcasting messages aimed at each other's soldiers and civilians along the border.
South Korea had launched the loudspeaker propaganda, which is known as a psychological warfare technique, for the first time in over a decade after landmines wounded some of its soldiers at the border.
The Kim Jong-un regime had reportedly threatened to carry out "indiscriminate attacks" on South Korean loudspeakers if the latter did not stop its broadcasting, Yonhap had reported.
North Korea and South Korea have remained in a state of war as the two countries did not sign a peace treaty during the partition in 1953 and ended the 1950-53 Korean war with a ceasefire.