UN Command offers to DPRK having dialogue on shelling

SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — United Nations Command has offered to the Democratic People’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) having talks about the shelling at the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Yonhap News Agency reported Friday citing a government official.

The UN Command’s military armistice commission sent a telephone notice to the DPRK on Thursday when a round of machine gun and three shells of direct-fire weapon were fired at the south side in the DMZ. On the same day, South Korea fired back dozens of rounds of self-propelled howitzers in retaliation for it.

The notice proposed an army colonel-level dialogue between the commission and the DPRK to hold a ministerial-level dialogue later.

The commission said that the shelling inside the DMZ was in a serious violation of the armistice agreement, urging Pyongyang to refrain from any further provocations that escalate tensions in the region.

The DPRK side has denied firing a shell into the territory of the south, saying that it was an excuse for Seoul to make such a severe military provocation which is intolerable for the DPRK.

On Aug. 10, the UN Command offered to the DPRK for a dialogue about the explosion of landmines on Aug. 4 in which two South Korean soldiers were maimed. South Korea claimed the landmines had been planted by DPRK forces, while Pyongyang denied any role in the blast.

The DPRK has refused the Aug. 10 dialogue offer from the UN Command.

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