It was a rough day to be a fish in the Yellow Sea today, where North and South Korea took turns lobbing artillery shells along their disputed maritime border, and took turns trading condemnation for doing so. An estimated 1,000 shells were fired.
Which if you check the calender means spring has officially arrived on the Korean Peninsula. Every year, South Korea and the US have a major joint training exercise at the start of spring, and every year it leads to a flurry of dust-ups like this, followed with bellicose rhetoric.
North Korean officials announced the live fire test hours before launching it, and most of their shells landed in their own water, with around 100 landing in the disputed area.
South Korean officials saw the move as a “deliberate provocation,” noting North Korea rarely even announces its intention to do such tests and just does them. They also suggested US tensions with Russia had led North Korea to “challenge” them. The US dubbed North Korea’s fire “dangerous and provocative.”
North Korea has also warned it is planning a “new kind” of nuclear test, though whether this will amount to anything or is just another random spring claim remains to be seen.