(Image Credit -US State Department)
Secretary Pompeo called North Korean firing in the DMZ early on Sunday morning ‘accidental’.
Speculation regarding North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s death reached an ebbing after his appearance for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a fertilizer factory.
The firing took place early Sunday morning at 7:41 local time from the North Korean side. There wasn’t any damage on the South Korean side. After the firing, the South Korean soldiers proceeded to give a verbal warning and returned fire, twice.
Secretary Pompeo told reporters no one had been harmed during the incident and the firing from the North Koreans was accidental.
The Military Accord of 2018
According to the military accord signed in 2018, both North and South Korea agreed to destroy several guard posts in the demilitarized zone. While both parties have done so, there still are many guard posts in the DMZ. One of these posts was the sight of the incident on Sunday.
Peace in the Korean peninsula is something President Trump has tried to base his presidency on. He remains one of the few world leaders to have brought Chairman Kim from the shadows in North Korea.
While nuclear disarmament is still a distant possibility, North Korea has become less isolationist during the last four years.
Chairman Kim’s Health
The past few weeks saw incessant speculation regarding the health of North Korean leader Kim. Some reports attributed him dead, others in a coma, and some called him alive and well.
The latter is true, made evident by Kim’s appearance. Trump tweeted the following yesterday –
I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well! https://t.co/mIWVeRMnOJ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2020
Trump has repeatedly touted his warm relationship with Chairman Kim despite their frosty start to diplomatic relations. In 2017, Trump called Kim rocketman and tweeted various other things about the country’s nuclear program.
The relationship is better now, thanks to multiple meeting between Chairman Kim and Trump. The signing of the military accord between North and South Korea in 2019 was a big step towards potential peace.