North and South Korean Troops Exchange Gunfire Along Border

No casualties, Pompeo says incident likely 'accidental'

Cross-border hostilities were once commonplace in Korea. The North and South exchanged fire on Sunday, however, which is the first time after a year and a half of peace process. South Korea claims Northern guards fired first, at a guard post. South Korea returned fire.

Whatever the case, the situation calmed down quickly, no casualties are believed to have been inflicted on either side, and there is no reason to believe either side intends to escalate from beyond this point.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed this matter, saying that the US believes the whole thing was “accidental.” South Korean analysts also say they don’t think this was an attempted provocation from the north.

Such an incident may even give both sides a chance to take stock at the lack of direct intra-Korean talks in recent months, and that they may want to restart those talks to keep this period of calm going.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of