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North and South Korean officials to meet amid tensions

Talks to be held between top officials on both sides. Credit: Reuters

Top aides to the leaders of North and South Korea will meet at the Panmunjom truce village close to the military border on Saturday to discuss the situation on the Korean peninsula, the South's presidential office said.

It comes amid high tensions following an exchange of artillery fire on Thursday.

The meeting is due to take place half an hour after North Korea's previously set ultimatum demanding that the South halt its loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts along the border or face military action.


North Korea warns of war after latest border dispute

A 2015 File photo of a South Korean K-2 tank. Credit: Reuters

North Korea has moved its front line troops into "wartime state" after a recent exchange of shellfire with neighbouring South Korea, according to state media in the country.

This potential escalation in regional tensions comes after North Korea opened fire at a series of propaganda loudspeakers operated by its neighbour that were broadcasting propaganda messages across the border.

South Korea retaliated by firing artillery rounds towards North Korea, reportedly provoking Pyongyang to raise military readiness.

Seoul has promised to "powerfully counter-attack any North Korean provocations", the Yonhap news agency report.

North Korea fires shots at South's propaganda loudspeaker

North Korea opened fire at its neighbours to the south today, targeting a loud speaker which has been broadcasting anti-Pyongyang material in recent days, according to local media.

South Korea has previously dismantled its propaganda loudspeaker in 2004 Credit: Reuters

State-run KBS News said the North Korean military opened fire on the western front at around 4pm (8am BST).

The Yonyap news agency in South Korea said there was no apparent damage caused by the shots.

Dozens of rounds of artillery was fired back towards North Korea in retaliation, the agency added, citing military sources - but no immediate response was apparent.

In 2004, North and South Korea agreed to stop blaring propaganda at one another across the border, but such broadcasts have resumed in recent days as relations between the two countries deteriorate.

Three more deaths in South Korea MERS outbreak

Workers spray disinfectant on the floor of Gimpo International Airport in Seoul yesterday Credit: Reuters

Three more people have died in South Korea from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), bringing the total number of fatalities to 23.

South Korea's health ministry also confirmed today three new cases of the virus taking the total to 165 in the outbreak that is the largest outside Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday, workers from a disinfection service company sanitised public areas in Seoul in a bid to curb the spread of the virus that began last month.


South Korea striker accepts doping ban

Kang Soo-il will be missing the next 15 games. Credit: Reuters

South Korea striker Kang Soo-il has decided to accept his 15-match ban after testing positive for a banned substance.

Methyltestosterone - a banned steroid - was found in his sample forcing the South Korean football association to ban him hours before he was set to make his international debut.

The Jeju United forward had claimed the positive test result was due to a moustache-growing cream, but has since accepted his sanction.

South Korea: 11th person dies in Mers outbreak

A medical worker in a protection suit at a hospital where a South Korean Mers patient is being quarantined. Credit: Reuters

A 72-year-old woman in South Korea has become the 11th person to die of of a Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in the country that began last month.

Officials report that the woman had contracted the virus at a hospital south of the capital, Seoul, that was at the centre of the outbreak that has so far infected 126 people.

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