BULLETS whizzed across the 38th parallel today after South Korean activists released anti-Pyongyang propaganda balloons.
North Korea opened fire nearly two hours after the leaflet-carrying inflatables were unleashed, with several machine gun bullets falling south of the border, Seoul Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok said.
South Korean troops responded with 40 rounds from machine guns, drawing rifle fire from the North, said Mr Kim, adding that the southern troops responded in kind.
There were no reports of injuries and it wasn’t immediately clear if the North Korean troops had been trying to shoot down the provocative balloons.
Pyongyang’s reunification committee had warned on Thursday that the proposed leaflet launch was “little short of a declaration of war.”
The hostilities came as speculation mounted surrounding the health of North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un.
He was mysteriously absent from celebrations marking the 69th anniversary of the ruling Workers Party of Korea.
Wild speculation, as baseless as most news emanating from North Korea, has suggested he may have gout or injured a leg during military training.