South Korea Fires Shots at Suspected North Korean Drone

A soldier stands guard at an opening to the fence of the Demilitarized Zone.
ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

South Korea Fires Shots at Suspected North Korean Drone

The incident comes during a time of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea’s military fired some 90 machine-gun rounds on Tuesday at an airborne “unidentified object” from North Korea that had been sent toward the South. A South Korean defense source told the Yonhap news agency that the object may have been a drone.

The South’s military “detected the object traversing the Military Demarcation Line (mdl) southward in the Chorwon area in the eastern province of Gangwon at around 4 p.m.,” Yonhap said, citing the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a source.

The South has not yet said whether or not the machine-gun rounds struck the object, but after they were fired, the object vanished from radar imagery.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the South Korean military is investigating whether or not the object was a drone and if it had crossed the border between the two nations.

The incident comes just a day after news broke that a high-level North Korean defector said Pyongyang’s military has hundreds of attack drones capable of delivering chemical and biological weapons to South Korea’s capital city within one hour.

The incident also comes at a time of rising international concern over North Korea’s mobile missiles, which Pyongyang has been illegally testing at increasing frequency. On Sunday, the North test-launched a Pukguksong-2 ballistic missile, after which Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un said the missile’s “rate of hits is very accurate.” He said the successful launch means the North is now ready to “rapidly” mass-produce the weapons.

United States President Donald Trump warned on April 28 that a “major, major conflict” with North Korea is now conceivable in order to halt its weapons programs. However, American officials say stricter sanctions, rather than the use of military might, remain the favored method of opposing the threat. The U.S. has also been attempting to convince China, the North’s only major ally, to play a more active role in defanging Kim’s regime.

China has obliged to a degree. But as fear increases in Washington over Pyongyang’s progress in building a missile capable of hitting America or one of its allies with a nuclear payload, pressure will mount for the U.S. to use military force to contain the threat—possibly including a preemptive strike. Geopolitical Futures founder George Friedman said on Tuesday that the U.S. is now preparing for an imminent attack on North Korea. If such an option is pursued, and if war were to break out, China and America would likely end up on opposite sides of the conflict.

Even if conflict does not break out on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea’s increasing belligerence and the steady advancements in its missile and nuclear programs are contributing to a weapons buildup in several Asian nations. And it is propagating uncertainty and tension throughout the Orient.

This weapons buildup, uncertainty and tension are helping to usher in an age that Bible prophecy terms “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). To know what this means for Asia and the rest of the world in the years ahead, watch Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s video presentation on this important topic.